Monday, December 2, 2013


365 days ago my oldest daughter went to a Christmas pageant with her friend's family. 
Her friend was singing in the manger or something like that. 
Was she Mary?
I don't know. 
What I do know is that my daughter was super excited to have been invited and super excited to go, so if she had been feeling "off" that day, she wasn't going to let on. 
Zoe was still on chemotherapy. 
Still had her port. 
Still had low immunity. 
She came home right after the pageant. 
Her friend's mom said Zoe didn't want to go out to eat with them after the performance, so she had brought her home. 
This same mom later told me that Zoe had spent her entire time at the church with her head laying on her shoulder. 
And when Zoe came into the house she looked horrible. 
Like a marshmallow. 
A true white girl.  
It was about 3 hours later that her temperature spiked up and we had to take her to the hospital. 
She had an infection. 
Was it in her lungs?
Her lungs sounded normal but there was something strange seen on a chest X-ray. 
And she needed blood. 
Her hemoglobin count was at 4, I think. 
That's just above the level of "sucked clean by a vampire."
Nothing makes you feel like MOM OF THE YEAR like sending your kid out with another family when she is nearly bloodless, weak, tired, and needs to be hospitalized. 
She missed her Christmas charity dance performance. 
So did her sister. 
She was miserable. 
She had taken a dose of chemo before the fever kicked in. 
It was to be her last dose of chemo. 
816 days after her first dose. 
She was done with the poison. 
The poison that saved her life. 

One year and two days after her last dose of chemo she's giving back. 
To the kids who are in the hospital this week. 
With coloring books and a word search book. 
She has an appointment with her oncologist on Wednesday so we'll be right there. 
The kids laying on the beds on the 5th floor were once her. 
It gets mighty boring in those rooms. 
Same white walls with the minty pastel curtains day after day. 
She doesn't remember much of her cancer journey (whew!) but she remembers wanting to be at home when she couldn't be. 
And a coloring book with mazes, word searches, and tic-tac-toe helped brighten her day. 
A moment to be a kid in an otherwise unkid-like situation. 

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