Courage for Kennedy – Journal


September 14, 2007

To Laughter

Category: Treatment – Melenie 12:24 am

Like a ray of sunshine piercing storm clouds
She shines in the darkest days
Facing Hell’s demonic wrath
with the courage only a child can muster
Unaware, death is lurking
behind every curtain
every door

Her hair no longer crowning her head
Her eyes dance deep in their sunken caverns
Scarlet as a red bloom her cheeks burn
with an inner fire
Yet she laughs and her delightful
sound echos off sterile white walls
down halls reeking of hopelessness and despair
it revirberates from IV poles and
bags of Methotrexate and platelets

Her laughter, her giggle, her hope
midnight is lifted by the melody
Eyes turn, ears hear and hearts
seek her song
Her laugh pushes back death
pushes back sorrow
Pink, yellow, lavender color her world
unaware of black and crimson
she laughs

Laughs with heart
with her whole body
Pain can not rob her of it
Despair can not steal it
The blanket of hopelessness has
no power here

They fall, run, stumble and scurry
for their caves
Chased by chiming bells breaking
the silence
You can not help but smile
You can not help but persevere
You can not help but hope
Your heart desires to tag along with her
to chase the future
To follow her spirit as it is
lifted beyond the
pokes, the scars, the heartache, the cancer
She knows the way
Follow her

September 6, 2007

Yes, another update!

Category: Treatment – Melenie 10:23 pm

While I should be writing for my literature class…I am finding ways to avoid it and this seemed like the perfect place to start! That and I am truly trying to be better about updating…

Here we are…two weeks off chemotherapy. Kennedy had her very last pill, last lumbar puncture and last bone marrow aspiration. All went off without a hitch and Kennedy was cancer free on August 23, 2007. Whoo! With gifts and balloons and a very grumpy girl we said so long to cancer treatment. I thought I would be terrified…remember my last post? In some ways I am but in many ways I am excited and full of hope for Kennedy. I wish so many wonderful things for her new life and her new chance. I wish for her a life of happiness and joy. Rascal Flatts sung it best in their song…

“My Wish”

I hope that the days come easy and the moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you want to go,
And if you’re faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin’ till you find the window,
If it’s cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile,
But more than anything, more than anything,

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
And you help somebody every chance you get,
Oh, you find God’s grace, in every mistake,
And you always give more than you take.
But more than anything, yeah, and more than anything,

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

This is my wish
I hope you know somebody loves you
May all your dreams stay big

I wish this for both Austin and Kennedy. They have endured so much and deserve a life rich with love, happiness and adventure. They have earned a life of joy and peace and that I wish for both of them.

We are doing well for the most part. Kennedy continues to have health related challenges due to treatment and there seems to be no end in sight for those. We will be taking about 6 months off from occupational and language therapy to give us all a break and allow Kennedy to have the opportunity to be a little girl. She was only 4 when she was diagnosed and spent so much of her time consumed with treatment and it’s effects that she just needs time to play and learn. The truth of it is, that she could and would benefit from a life time of physical, occupational and language therapies but I would like her to have more. So, a break is in order. We will continue with an aggressive home program and see them every 12 weeks but I will allow her to just focus on being a kid right now. Good timing, too, since ballet is starting and Nutcracker is right around the corner 🙂 We don’t have all the skinny on the scans of the future but I know that they will include blood tests on a very regular schedule for the next 5 years and then yearly after that, an echocardiogram every 2 years to check for heart damage from chemotherapy, yearly eye exams for cataracts, bone density scans and neuropsych exams on a regular basis…not to mention therapy. Hmmm…so much for being a bump in the road. But…we have KENNEDY!!! She is here and growing and thriving. She walks and runs and plays and talks and eats. She loves and hugs and kisses and cuddles. She screams and cries and has outrageous temper tantrums and I am happy she is here to do all of that and more. I am grateful and very, very lucky and very, very thankful. Did I mention I am thankful?

On another note, for those of you who do not know, Kennedy’s cousin (Keith’s sister’s daughter) was diagnosed the end of June with Stage II Hodgkins Lymphoma. Devon is 12 and is also in a COG research protocol. She recently finished chemotherapy and had her final scans last week. If there is ANY cancer still there she will endure more chemo and radiation so please pray for free and clear scans for her. As with us, this has taken an enormous toll on them including financially so many prayers for that are needed. We have met with a geneticist and while it is extremely uncommon to have 2 members of a family with blood related cancers, there does not appear to be significant evidence that it is genetically linked and that neither Austin nor Chance are at a higher risk of having cancer than anyone else. It just is terrible luck. One benefit is that we know EXACTLY how they feel and can understand where they are at and can help them as much as possible.

Oh, and please check out this video that some moms I know put together for September which is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. You will not be disappointed…I promise.

In His hands,
Melenie