Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Out of Body and in Our Garden

Out of Body....
It's a double meaning.
 I want cancer out of her little body and I feel like I am entering a new phase of this journey. It feels like an out of body experience we are about to embark on. I am about to watch my daughter fight the fight of her life....again....and this time the battle will be a lot harder. Is this really happening? Yes. All I can do is watch over her and offer her all the love I can muster. 

Yes she's had chemotherapy before but this is different. Last time it was a small dose that only traveled directly to her eye. She still appeared healthy.  This time it's 3 chemo drugs that will go through her whole body. Systemic. I will watch as she faces the decreased appetite, nausea and hair-loss..... We will have to take extra precaution to keep things clean and germs to a minimum. Limited activities. She Is going to look like a "cancer kid" in a few weeks. This is hard. I feel like I need to cover my heart in the toughest warrior armor to protect it from breaking into a million peices right now.

Yesterday the doctors office gave her this doll to help us prepare her for her future appearance......

We will make time to make things grow

My mind keep wandering and thinking of our happy place- our garden. This summer while in the midst of all this scariness, we will try to maintain as much normal as possible. Every summer we try to out-grow the previous summer's garden. Even though we live in the city, we get a wonderful variety of fruits and vegetables on our small city lot.  This coming summer I see us spending lots of time cultivating and watching it grow. Ania has been part of our gardening every summer of her life. This summer will be no different. I am so looking forward to watching life and growth happening in our garden more than ever. Gardening will be a welcomed distraction from the cancer that has invaded our precious family like a weed. 

Back to the NOW of Next week....
On Monday Ania will have a hearing test to get a baseline because one of the chemo drugs could cause hearing loss. Tuesday is the big day. First she will have an MRI done followed by a procedure to place a port in her body so chemotherapy drugs can be administered more easily over the course of treatment. The port stays in place for the next 6 months. After the port is placed, we will be checked into the hospital and stay there for the next day. She will have her first round of chemo on Tuesday starting with the drugs Vincristine & carboplatin. On Wednesday a 3rd drug, Etoposide will be added to the cocktail. If everything goes well and Ania is feeling good enough, she should be released that night. 

Even though I am with Ania day in and day out, this still all feels so surreal. Out of Body indeed. I still can't believe this is happening. 
Diagnosis and treatment last fall/winter? It felt real and I think We accepted it pretty well.
 Losing her eye? Ok, it was hard but it made sense. Treatment is not working so CUT THE CANCER OUT of her body if you have to.
Where we are at right at this moment? More treatment?   I can't really leave my body so I will be present and I won't leave Ania's side as she begins this next phase. She will be a survivor. I too will survive watching her endure- as painful as it might be- this is our life right now. It's not as pretty as our summer garden.... But Ania WILL still be in our lives this summer and beyond so it can't be all that bad....

God Bless,



  1. Erica, you are as much the survivor of cancer as Ania strong and FIGHT!!! Eliminate those nasty "weeds" and you will grow in strength, love, and happiness.....YOU WILL ENJOY the fruits of your labor and so will Ania!!

  2. Praying for your little Warrior. So proud of how you are dealing with this. GOD BLESS you all. Debi Jensen

  3. God bless. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. May the angels wrap their wings around her and protect her. May God grant you the strength you'll need to walk this path.

  4. I am crying right now but I know in the future I'll be crying for joy. John and I love all of you. You are in my prayers.

  5. Fingers crossed for you that she tolerates everything smoothly! Ryan had the same trio of systemic chemo for 6 months, starting at 4 months of age- and he really had minimal side effects.

  6. I hurt for all of you. And pray for all of you.