Wednesday, August 31, 2011

September - A Big Month for Childhood Cancer!

I have just come downstairs after hugging my lovely Sammy for over an hour as he suffers severe pain in the testicles and stomach.  We are two days clear of the steroids but they have built up so much in his little body that the effects stay a lot longer and are more severe.

While the usual treatment cycles are continuing and the steroids are getting harder to bear, we are slowly creeping to the finish line.  Unfortunately, the finish line is not the end of the road....our journey lasts a lifetime.  But that is okay....I am going to take a full, get to old-age, need diapers again and false teeth type of lifetime....over any late-effects shortening lifetime!

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  Funny how Sam was mis-diagnosed by four doctors during the very month everyone should be ultra-aware of childhood cancers!  I, however, did not know it was such an important month before September 13th, 2009.  I had no idea and really didn't give it much thought.  I sent donations to St. Jude's and felt I had done my bit!

Many of you reading this will already know it is a special month.  Sadly, you will be on a similar journey to my family.  You will know the statistics, the pain, and the feeling of hopelessness when cancer just overwhelms you.  Some of you will not have known, not because you don't care, but because pink ribbons get more air time than gold ribbons. highlights some of the children and their families in a beautiful way.  Take a look here   Scroll down to the comments for a chance to read about hope, joy, sadness and loss.  All part of childhood cancer.  As I type, there are 1080 comments!!!!

Statistics are boring, but not when your son is one of them.  So here are a few just to raise awareness:

  • This year it is estimated that 10,700 children will be diagnosed with cancer un the United States
  • An estimated 1,340 of these children will die from their cancer
  • Almost one-third of the deaths will be from leukemia
  • Since 1975, there has been a 55% decrease in childhood cancer deaths
  • Cancer is the #1 cause of illness-related death in children
Parents, like me, don't always think to ask for a blood test at their child's annual physical.  If blood-work had been done, Sammy would have been treated a little earlier and perhaps suffered less aggressive treatment.  Raising awareness, telling parents (and others) about such things may help reduce the number of children who are diagnosed late into their disease.  Adults are far more likely to be diagnosed early...go figure?

Sammy spoke at the Light the Night opening ceremony.  He will also talk at the LTN walk for the cure on November 5th...he is raising awareness and actively fighting for a cure.  Sammy is seven and still on treatment, but he has not let that stop him talk with the press and discuss his illness publicly if he feels it will benefit his cause.

Please consider supporting Sammy as he walks on November 5th.  You will be supporting thousands, perhaps more, as we raise funds for research to cure cancer and help prevent late-effects ravaging those already burdened with so much.

 Super Sammy Walks for a Cure!

Before Diagnosis

The First Year

Getting There

1 comment:

  1. Oh, this was a painfully sad post to read. Your courage in taking your readers along your journey is bound to increase awareness and compassion more than you will ever know.


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