1. Almost everything that was paramount before diagnosis barely registers on the relevancy scale.
2. Being a bald child is not weird. It’s proof that you are stronger than most adults.
3. There is very little I, personally, can do for my son. I, personally, cannot cure CANCER.
4. I CAN, however, hold a barf bucket and a washcloth and say, “I’m sorry, this really sucks”.
5. I can let him continue to believe that my absolute favorite show is Tom and Jerry and we can watch it in the dark.
6. A parent should not Google anything about their child’s diagnosis.
7. Everyone handles things differently. Believe it or not, this has been one of the most frustrating points.
8. Don’t compare CANCER to that one time you were really, really sick. You weren’t that sick.
9. If someone says, “At least it’s just Leukemia”, or it’s “God’s Will”, you can throat punch that person and not get arrested.
10. Everyone wants to help. Not everyone knows how.
11. If you are lucky enough to have a ten minute shower today and a cup of coffee before/or after wiping up voluminous body fluids times two from various orifices of your small child, you are already on a roll.
12. Be grateful. I just read a HuffPost about many children who do not make it. I am grateful for each day my boy is here, even if he is jaundiced and feeling pretty blecky. His is still here and fighting.
13. Patience. Ugh. No one ever accused me of being patient. Now when someone asks me how it’s going I just say, “hurry up and wait”. It’s a little like having insomnia and watching the big hand. (Did I see movement?!)
14. Go outside. Children in isolation can’t. If you can’t donate to a Cancer fund, just GO OUTSIDE on a child’s behalf and feel the air and smell something natural, even if it’s a skunk.
15. Don’t forget yourself. You can love somebody so much, someone who is ill, or someone you just plain LOVE and you can forget that you have to love yourself ,too. Loving yourself makes you lovable. If I don’t love myself I get mean.
16. Forgive yourself. I know, I’m not the Dalai Lama. But, I’ve had to forgive myself continuously because this disease can chomp up a family pretty quickly. It can also chomp up a friendship. I have relationships that will never be the same because my child has AML. I forgive myself because I have been doing the best I can do in a situation I knew nothing about and I am a single mother.
Cancer kills more children than any other disease
Some pediatric brain tumors have a 0% survival rate
The average age of death for a child with cancer is 8 years old
Surviving childhood cancer doesn’t guarantee a happy ending
3 out of 4 childhood cancer survivors have long-term chronic illness
40% have severe illness or die from illnesses such as secondary cancer
Pediatric cancer research is severely underfunded
Childhood cancer receives only 4% of U.S federal funding for research
R&D in pharmaceutical industry: Adult cancer research 60%
Children’s cancer research close to 0%
Doctors are forced to use outdated drugs
In 20 years, 228, 000 newly diagnosed children with cancer
Only 1 drug has been developed for pediatric cancer
Some protocols haven’t changed in 30 years
Each year, 13,500 are diagnosed with cancer
35,000 children this year are in active cancer treatment
In the last 20 years, incidence of invasive pediatric cancers has risen 29%
Unlike many adult cancers, childhood cancer cannot be prevented
The causes of most childhood cancers are unknown
Childhood cancer spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class or geographic region.