I can't believe January just flew by like it did. We had a good start to the month on Friday. I subbed and had a great day, we also went out to dinner and bowling to celebrate my cousin's birthday and that was a lot of fun. I'm still better at Wii bowling than the real thing, but it was fun. We slept late Saturday too, which we rarely get to do when Cole is home. But since he was at Grammy and Granddaddy's - sleeping late was nice. I got up around 9 and went to fix my morning cup of Diet Dr Pepper and turned the laptop on. This is my routine every morning - either the laptop or the desktop. I check my email and I check on one of our sweet little friends we met at St. Jude. I've been following Maddie since we met her - probably even before since we had friends that knew her. The cancer community is like that - sometimes you know all about someone before you actually meet them. You hear their name called over the intercom at St. Jude - paging them to their appointments. Well Maddie was this sweet cutie pie - always the epitome of girly girl. Always in pink or purple, usually some hearts somewhere and a little sparkle too! She was always smiling - always!! Such a sweet personality. It seems like so many of the kids we've met just sparkle in some way - they stand out to you I guess because they are battling something bigger than them with a smile most of the time. They tend to perk up more quickly than any sick adult I've ever known. They forgive their parents quickly for having to hold them down for an ouchie, or something like that. Maddie was really a beautiful little girl. I could also see where a lot of her good spirit came from - her Mom. Brandi was so sweet - also usually with a smile on her face. Probably not because things didn't stink though - I mean, come on, she's in a hospital with her daughter who is fighting cancer. She still had a smile for other parents. A hug to share - so caring and sweet. I never saw her in the halls of St. Jude without a smile for someone. So it was easy to see how Maddie would bloom into the very same type of person. We chatted whenever we saw each other but the kids didn't know each other. Cole kept to himself a good bit when we were there - tending to just play with us or boys - not quite up to playing with girls then I guess. Anyway, I felt very lucky to have met these two special girls!!
Maddie's family was told in early January that her cancer was back and it was just as bad as it was several years ago when she began this fight. The decided to end her treatment and take her home. So home they went, hospice was now taking care of everything. I cannot begin to imagine what they went through to make those decision. I cannot begin to understand or comprehend. What I do know is that their faith in God was so strong, they knew that by believing in Him, praying to Him, asking Him for comfort in their time of need - that will get them through those weeks at home waiting to see what would happen. I prayed each night before bed for Maddie and that her and her mom especially would have time together to make some very special memories that Brandi would hold close to her heart forever. I prayed that she would have a good nights sleep, and a wonderful day with her family, I prayed for a miracle.
On Saturday morning at 3:19am Maddie got her miracle. Not the one I had prayed for exactly but a miracle nontheless. Maddie left her family, holding her mom and dad's hand early Saturday morning. I can't imagine their heartbreak. It took all morning yesterday for me to even get the lump out of my throat. I couldn't even tell Jason because I was so close to tears everytime I thought about telling him - another sweet baby we know is gone.
So the second day of the month was just sad. I hugged Cole a few extra times and was so thankful that he was making a mess in the living room!! I know without a doubt that Maddie's parents would much rather be picking up her toys every day than picking up the pieces of their broken heart and trying to live without her. I wish they could have the joys I have with Cole. We were just so lucky to have the kind of cancer Cole had. I never thought, back then, three years ago, that I would be glad that we had a 'good' cancer. But we did. We were so lucky. We are still lucky. Lucky that we had cupcakes Thursday to celebrate the three year cancer free anniversary. Cole doesn't understand it at all. He never heard the word cancer. I try to tell him things now but he just doesn't get it. And you know, it's ok. He'll get it later and for now, I'm just thankful that he'll be here for me to share the story with.
We head back to Memphis at the end of this month for a big check up. Since it's the anniversary of Cole beginning treatment he'll have all the tests he's had before again. Xray's, psych testing, lots of stuff!! I'm nervous already - just a bit. I always am until we get the word from Dr. Gajjar that everything is fine. Clear scans. He always says it like he knew they would be fine, but no one knows - well God knows of course. Sometimes I just wish He'd clue me in a bit, so I wouldn't stress so much. Jason has to work and has school too, so he isn't making the trip. That stinks. I hate going without him. My mom is going with us though so that will help a ton. I'll be glad for the company - there's no way I could go through the whole thing by myself. Well, I could, but it would be stressful and boring at the same time, with no adult conversation.
Please keep Cole in your mind at the end of the month - just for clear scans and good tests results. Also, please keep Maddie's family in your prayers too. They need it so very badly. My heart breaks for them. Hug your kids!!