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If you want to restore your faith in humanity, spend a week with me.

For those of you following this story, I apologize for keeping you in the dark. Apparently having a kid with cancer is time-consuming and exhausting. Who knew?

Goo is, as expected, kicking some serious – well, you know.

Radiation? Owned it. Finished 28 days of treatment with NO – that’s right, NO – side effects. No burns. No neuropathy in her extremities. No mouth sores. No esophagitis. No fatigue. Because frankly, cancer, you don’t stand a chance against my kid.

Chemotherapy is expected to be ongoing through November. We have an evaluation in six weeks. But she’s on a roll, defying the odds, shocking the doctors, and quite frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if we got to finish early. I know that’s unheard of, but so it is having 5.5 weeks of intense radiation therapy with no side effects. Well, except the sweet tan she’s got going on.

I don’t write often because I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer (if you don’t get that reference, watch this). There are days when I’m kicking butt and taking names, and there are days when I cry in the shower because no one can see me. Or in the car because I’ve got a good hour to get tears out, and still have time for the red, puffy eye and nose thing to go away. It’s so unbecoming. Honestly, most people are aware of the heartache that having a child with a serious illness can cause. I didn’t want to write about that as much. I didn’t want to wallow there, to dwell on the overwhelming physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual fatigue. So there. Now I’ve said it happens, and we can move on to the good part.

Goo’s fight with cancer has shocked me in a very, very good way. The world is full of ugliness. Full of wars, threats, disease, incomprehensible greed, and suffering. It is easy to forget that it is also full of courage, hope, victory, inspiration, and love. If you hang out with a pediatric cancer patient for a while, you get to see that. And because you just can’t understand unless you really see, I’m breaking my own rule and sharing photos. This is my family. This is our team.

Exhibit one: Goo’s radiation oncology team. Heroes These ladies were there every single day, reassuring her, playing her favorite music, cracking jokes, and getting us through what is, in the beginning, a very scary ordeal. The fact that they get paid a fraction of what some tall guy with a ball gets paid is deplorable in my opinion, but that’s another post. These are my heroes. There is a lot more money in other fields, but they spend their days lifting patients, reassuring terrified families, and bringing a little bit of joy to a very dark road.

Exhibit two: This beautiful group of bald heads. Baldies Our church did a St. Balrick’s fundraiser in honor of Goo, and several other members who are battling cancer. We had about 30 heads get shaved, in addition to 8 ponytails donated to Locks of Love. And because the sight was so overwhelming (read: I cried my mascara off), I’m breaking my own rule and sharing pictures. Because you guys have got to see this. Donations are still being accepted, and all funds go to support pediatric cancer research – the scientists taking the cure rate of children’s cancer from 58% to 80% in just the past 35 years. If you’d like to donate, please go here.

Exhibit three: Sisterly love. Cancer impacts everyone in the family, and siblings are no exception. Punkin has always been an inspiration to me, but watching her fight alongside her sister has blessed me more than I could ever communicate. She has endless patience, even when mine has run out. She opens up her room to extra sister sleepovers, and spends her days off from school going to chemo with us because it gives Goo extra courage to have her big sister there. And then there was this: Love At our church’s St. Balrick’s event, we also had women donating their hair to Locks of Love. Punkin has had long hair for years, almost covering her back. She hesitated to even let me trim it, until Goo lost her hair. Almost immediately, she decided she would donate her hair to help other girls fighting the same fight. I want to be like her.

Exhibit four: I don’t have a picture for this one, but I’ve noticed something. When Goo lost her hair, I immediately went into Mama Bear mode. One horrific comment was made to her from an unknowing observer, and I prepared to obliterate anyone who used hurtful words with my baby. I braced myself for the strangers staring. And it happens all the time, just not in the way I expected. I expected to see looks of fear, curiosity, even disgust. What I have seen? Looks of compassion. Looks of hope. Kind nods from passersby that seem to say, “Good work, Mom. You’ve got this. She’s a fighter.” If you take the time to look, the world is full of truly wonderful people. We encountered a fellow cancer patient, a beautiful woman with three children of her own, who took one look at Goo and said to me, “She will be a strong woman, with a powerful story to tell.”

I couldn’t agree more.

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About Mediocre Mom

I am a wife to the man who was made for me, and mom to three amazing girls: Punkin is eight, Goo is four, and Smush is two. I'm a Christian, a science geek, and completely addicted to coffee. Trying to stay sane one day at a time. Lowering the bar for moms everywhere.

13 responses »

  1. Hey,
    this was wonderful, and sad, and happy and tragic and encouraging, and humbling and oh so many other massive things I can’t even begin to describe.
    Go Goo, I will be thinking and praying for your victorious fight! I will do so for your wonderful mum, who has not a single gram of mediocrity in her bones! for your glorious sister, who is not just cool, but ice-cool!!! and for everybody else who took a stand in your name!
    Thanks for writing this post. Simply magnificent.
    God bless,
    Francesca

    Reply
  2. Wonderful, as always, Beth, and having known you since you were in my 3rd grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade class, I can attest that Goo is like her mother, as is Punkin and Smush. Praise God for what He has done, in you and the kids! Barbara Hageman

    Reply
  3. I cannot even find the words that can describe the inspiration that Goo, you and family have shown. Unbelievable strength! God is good and will bring Goo to victory!!! I have no doubt and trust our Lord completely. Hugs to all of you and my prayers continue for complete restoration of your family and that means sooner than later!!! LOVE!

    Reply
  4. You’ve blessed my heart as always. Our love, prayers and praise are with you all daily! We love you<3

    Reply
  5. Lyndsy Buckley

    We don’t know you but I’ve read many of your stories and it’s truly awe inspiring how you can be so open about your families story and your journey before, during and for sure an AFTER story of when she beats this 🙂 My daughter is currently growing her hair out for Locks of Love and she’s been wanting to do some special stuff for ANY child w/ or a survivor of this horrible word called “cancer”. If there is anything Goo wants specifically please email me & let us know what we can do 🙂 god bless and I look forward to the day you write “cancer FREE!!”

    Reply
  6. Thank you for this beautiful and heartwarming update. My boys will be so happy to hear how she’s doing and I will be honored to use your real life experiences to show them about the love of God we so often talk about. God is doing great things in your life- well done, good and faithful servant.
    Vicky

    Reply
  7. Thanks for the update! Have been thinking about your family and hoping things were going well. You and your beautiful girls are the best–we are all sending much love and many prayers your way. Go Team Goo!

    Reply
  8. You are a blessing to your family and to us…..consider that book!!! You have a story to tell!!!!! God Bless and hugs and kisses to the family….we love you all!!!

    Reply
  9. Wow As I wipe the tears from my eyes, all I can say is WOW. You, Punkin, and especially Goo are an inspiration. I found your blog on a “funniest mom blogs” list. I came here looking for a laugh, and instead found a cry. But it’s a good cry. It’s an empathetic cry because I remember the terrorizing month we spent in the hospital seven years ago when we thought my oldest had cancer at the age of two. As a mother for (finally) the second time around, your post made me hug my 27-day-old just a little tighter. I commend your strength and admire your positive attitude in the midst of it all. May God bless you and your family and you are right, cancer doesn’t stand a chance!

    Reply
  10. This brought tears to my eyes. I check your page every other day and say an extra prayers for Goo and your family each time. I’m so glad you updated us, I would expect (from what I have read) nothing less than Goo kicking cancers hiney! Your girls are beautiful. Sending constant prayers to you and your family!

    Reply
  11. Pingback: My three year old might be a medical genius. | Confessions of a Mediocre Mom

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