December 22, 2010
When we were checking out of the hospital way back when, the Child Life Specialist had all sorts of information about special programs Peach was eligible for, including Make-a-Wish. It was all I could do to hold it together and take that GD pamphlet, which I quickly stuck in the bottom of the pile, destined for the first recycling bin – or fireplace – I could find. Six days into this thing, I refused to “go there,” so I had no intention of discussing it with Peach any further.
About a month later, we were at the clinic for a long day, and the Child Life Specialist there asked Peach if she had made her wish yet. Shit. Peach said no, so, bless her heart, the CLS went into great detail about what Peach could wish for, and "here, let’s look at their website, and that kid over there did this, and that kid over there did that" … I was cringing. That is, until I caught a glimpse of their FAQs page, and the post for “Are wishes only offered to kids who are terminally ill?” And the answer is NO. Exhale.
After that, the process began in earnest, and we knew within another month or so that Peach’s wish to go to Disneyworld was granted. I say *we* meaning T-Bone and me. I didn’t want to tell Peach in case I needed “something” for incentive on a really rough day. Which, thankfully, we didn’t have that many of, and I was able to keep the surprise until our grand Back to School Feast. We’ll be going to Universal Studios, too, so the big reveal was done via owl and an official letter from Hogwarts, inviting Peach to enroll the day after her 11th birthday. She is beyond excited, but she told me last night that she doesn’t know what she’d be thinking right now if “all that hadn’t happened last year.” Me neither, my love.
If I did a word search of my posts for this year, I realize there would be a handful of buzzwords and catchphrases that are repeated ad nauseum. You know the ones. The words that everyone uses to describe cancer and treatment and people going through it. The phrases that every non-profit uses to promote their cause and tug at your heartstrings and encourage you to open your wallet. I don’t know how it happened, but I just slipped into that language (Cancerspeak?), and the clichés flowed like water. Or wine. You choose.
But here’s the thing: Cancer IS a monster. Treatment IS a battle, fight, journey. People going through it ARE brave, amazing, inspiring. And we MUST raise awareness, funds, and hope to find a CURE.
So, no apologies. Just immense gratitude for Peach’s success and for the love and light surrounding us. And for this disease? A lasting hatred that I’ve been told is – yes – inspiring.