Monday, September 29, 2014

For Your Good...

I still remember it like it was yesterday.

I had just started chemotherapy for my breast cancer when I got a card in the mail telling me that I could have as many massages as I wanted (for free) to help me be comfortable during chemotherapy.

There was apparently research out there that said they had found that when cancer patients felt more comfortable and had a chance to relax and take care of themselves, the chemotherapy process was easier.

I stood there in disbelief as I read the letter that was sent to me about my unlimited massage offer to help me through my treatment process.

My best friend was at my house and I showed it to her. She read my facial reaction and asked, "What do you think about that?"

I had to consider how to respond.

My then five year old had just been diagnosed with a relapse of his neuroblastoma cancer.

And there was no known cure.

We were sure his fifth birthday was going to be his last.

He had started treatments when I found the lump in my breast.

I knew right away what that lump was, and to be very honest, I really didn't care about my own cancer.

My only concern was my son, who by all physician reports, was dying.

So as I read that card, I was mad.


You see, at that time, the clinic at our hospital was so crowded that the chair he sat in for chemo was my lap...

and my lap sat upon on the dirty floor because there were not enough chairs for the kids to sit on.


One time, Braden was playing as he was hooked up to his chemo and a little girl (who was also trying to play while hooked up to her chemo) tripped over his line and de-accessed him enough that the chemo was no longer going into his port, just under his skin forming a large lump.

A very dangerous thing.

My five year old was dying and couldn't even get a chair, but I was offered unlimited massages.

That was the moment that threw me into action.

It was the moment that made me decide that we needed to form a 501(c)(3) to fund research for children with cancer...

so our kids could have a chance for a future.

We did just that and this past weekend, we had our third annual Hope Gala for Braden's Hope For Childhood Cancer.  Over 800 were in attendance and we raised about  $176,000 to fund awareness and research targeted therapies to shut down the activators of childhood cancers.

And I had chills.

I went to church on Sunday night and one of the songs we sang had the words from Romans 8:28.

God makes ALL things...not the things we choose to have in our together for our good.

we certainly didn't choose this crapfest, but ALL things are working together for "our" good.

"Our" good is the good of all children with cancer.

I don't believe God gave us this crapfest...I think that came from the "other guy" but I do believe God holds our hands through every bad moment and that He wants us to use all things for something positive.

During this entire crapfest, I have experienced a lot of positivity and witnessed more acts of selflessness and compassion than I could ever list.

I been blessed by friendships and support from the most amazing people in the entire universe and many of them have joined with us to fight to bring HOPE to our children with cANCER.

And most of them are not people who have children with cancer. 

They are just people who care and act to fill a need.

This crapfest has brought more beauty and grace into my life than I could have ever imagined.

Yes, I wish it had never happened, I wish our son didn't have to go through everything he has had to endure.

But the simple truth is that I cannot change our circumstances. 

But I CAN choose who I react and I can control what I choose how I act as a result.  

So thank you cANCER...thank you for creating the crapfest that led us to...

beautiful selfless people surrounding us...

true friendships...





gratitude for every moment...

...and HOPE.

Braden just turned 10, even after battling a secondary cancer we were told he would not survive a year ago.


HOPE wins because 

ALL things work together for our good...

if we trust, believe, and have faith that no matter what the answer to our wants and needs, the answers  will work together for our good.

We have HOPE that Braden will live a long life and right now that is enough.

Actually, it is more than enough....

it's everything.