Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Last night, it occurred to me that Zach (our ten year old) really has no idea what our foundation does.

Not quite sure how I missed describing that piece to him! :)

He knows I work all the time, and that I'm gone a lot in the evening, and that I spend tons of time on the computer and on the phone, etc. but he really doesn't know what I'm doing other than "mom's working".

So I talked to him about what we do and about the $100,000 grant we got to give away to a doctor to find treatments for kids with cancer.

And the cynic in him said, " realize you can't save all kids with cancer, right?"

Yea...he's 10....and he sounded like a grandpa of 90. :)

I told him a story that I had read in Chicken Soup For The Soul one time, many moons ago, about a man walking along the beach picking up starfish and throwing them back into the ocean.

There were hundreds. A man passed him and asked why he was doing it, there were too many and he couldn't possibly make a difference, he couldn't save them all.

The man threw another into the ocean and said, "Made a difference to THAT one."

I told him I knew I couldn't save every kid with cancer, but I wanted to try to do something to make a difference in some way for a few if not all.

The alternative is to do nothing and just allow children to die from these diseases without even trying. And I can't live with that.

I asked him if he remembered going to Jayden and Harley's funerals. If he remembered looking at their small bodies in their caskets.

He said that he did.

I told him that I didn't ever want any other families to have to put their children in a casket and kiss them goodbye until they meet them in Heaven. That I didn't want any other child to have to die when they should be playing and laughing. 

I told him it wasn't right and it wasn't fair and although I know I can't save every child with cancer, if I can have a hand in making even a small difference for another family, it is worth it to me.

He then asked the tough question, he asks it occasionally.

"Is Braden going to die too?"

I've never lied to him...and I never will.

I told him that I didn't know.

I promised him that I have fought for no child any harder than I fought for Braden and that right now we had Braden doing a medicine that seemed to be working, but I couldn't promise that he wouldn't die from cancer, or anything else for that matter.

I know his little body has had too much treatment and it's all been highly experimental.  We've bought much I don't know.

He asked if the $100,000 we gave away will result in a treatment Braden can get to save his life.  I told him no and then I explained the trial the doctor would be doing and how it was not going to be something that could help Braden but would help hundreds if not thousands of other kids with cancer if the doctor is right.

He thought for a very long time and then I asked him how he felt about me doing all of this foundation business.

He said he thought it was good.  I said, "think it's good?" and he said, "yea...sometimes it's weird though."

I asked how.

And he said, "well, it's weird that you have to work all day and all night and don't have time to play with us. and it's really sad to think that after all of this, Braden could still die. I think it's great it's helping other kids but I wish it could help Braden too."

He's right about the too much working and not enough playing thing. That hit me like a ton of bricks to the face.

There was no comeback on that one. It's 24/7/365. For good reason...Jayden and Harley for starters. 

This job of mine is all consuming. It takes every hour, minute, and thought I have and it is worth it, but I have to find a balance.

Seems I have fallen in to the same trap I thought I had learned to avoid! I used to work nonstop when I was employed!  I've never worked more hours than I'm working now, and I used to work a LOT.  I suppose this is just my "gotta do my best" personality hard at work.

I thought I had learned not to fall into that trap after Braden was diagnosed. But slowly, as Braden has been healthier, I've let it creep in and suck me in to "obsessive mode" again.

And I didn't even realize it until last night!


I think the fact that this work is about trying to save the lives of children, I've put extra emphasis on just working more and more to make a bigger difference.

I have to stop doing that. My kids are still the number one priority and I haven't been treating them like they are.

Dang again!!

Stupid cAncer! Even in trying to fight you, you were winning!

So Zach and I created a plan for balance. He was falling asleep as I asked him how he felt about that plan.

He whispered, "good".

And then said, "I'm proud of you mom. Keep saving starfish!"

I said, "I will buddy, and I will do a better job of keeping my focus on the two most important starfish in the and Braden".

His response was in a whisper again, "I love you mom!"

"I love you too Zach."

Sometimes it takes the wisdom and heart of a ten year old to whack you in the face and remind you of what really matters!


And cancer...I'm not going to slow down or back down one bit...I'm still coming after you full force!! I'm just going to take some time off in the evenings to love on my boys!

I have my priorities straight again. 

Hey cAncer....Take THAT!!!!  

Thanks for the therapy session Zach!!