Shit Like This Shouldn’t Happen…
I haven’t forgotten about you guys. I promise, I really haven’t. And I’m saying “you guys” like there are people out there who are actually going to read this, even though I have no thought whatsoever about advertising this blog post, so in all likelihood this one will go unread for the most part. But there are some things going on in my life that I thought I’d get off my chest, in case anyone out there was wondering what was going on.
So, a little over a year ago, my stepson moved in with me along with his girlfriend and her two kids. Four more people to add to my lovely little living situation… awesome. I’m pretty sure my house is on the verge of being referred to as a “compound” at this point. But fairly quickly, the youngest of the two kids became one of my favorite people in the world. I began peppering in his quotes on Twitter quite often…
My favorite thing is how the house guests’ 3 yr old pronounces Charlotte’s name “toilet” … which is, coincidentally, her LEAST favorite.
3 yr old: I want ice cubes!
Me: Okay, here you go.
3yo: NO! These are frozen!
3yo: Not FROZEN ice cubes!
The 3yo just made up a song about donuts. “I get donuts! I get donuts! I can have 1 donut! Or 2 donuts! … Or 1 donut!”
3yo: Next time can we get donut balls?
Me: They’re called holes
3: Okay, next time can we get ball holes?
Me: … I don’t see why not!
The three year old is singing the alphabet… So now I know my gdk’s…
The 3 year old was dunking his grilled cheese in his Kool-Aid so he should be ready for the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest in no time.
So, as you can tell from the title, this isn’t a happy blog post. And some of you may already see where this is headed, but I’ll briefly tell the tale anyway. Several months back, the older of the two boys got sick. It wasn’t anything bad, just a cold, but my stepson was going to take him to the doctor. So I told him to go ahead and make an appointment for both boys, since whenever one gets sick the other is usually not far behind. So, even though Jayden was fine, he agreed and set an appointment for both boys to be seen by the local doctor (the only doctor in this little town). During the exam, the doctor noticed something in Jayden’s abdomen and set an immediate referral for him to get an ultrasound. The ultrasound led to an immediate referral to Phoenix Children’s Hospital for further evaluation. As it turned out, Jayden had a growth around his kidney which, as the hospital would confirm, was cancer.
The form of cancer was neuroblastoma (more information can be found here if you’re interested). The good news about neuroblasoma is that in many cases, the cancer goes benign on its own with little to no damage caused to the patient. The good news in Jayden’s case was that his doctor caught it REALLY early, so they could monitor the growth and run tests. After the tumor showed no growth in a number of ultrasounds, a biopsy was done and the tumor was found to be benign. So after some discussion, the decision was made to remove the tumor. The operation was supposed to last 5 hours, but ended up taking over 9 hours. The surgeons discovered other tumors while removing the one above the kidney, including tumors on the lymph nodes. These tumors, as it turned out, were malignant and the cancer was spreading.
So, that’s where we are now. Dealing with chemotherapy. Dealing with cancer. It’s about the saddest, crappiest thing I’ve ever seen. Shit like this shouldn’t happen, but it does. So I find myself often thinking of the pep talk given by Devon Still to his daughter, and figured it would be a good place to end this blog. In case you aren’t familiar with the story of Devon Still, he’s a player for the Cincinnati Bengals football team. The team placed him on the practice squad so he and his daughter (who has neuroblastoma) wouldn’t lose their health insurance, but he would have more time to spend with her. The team then put his jersey up for sale in the team shop with 100% of the proceeds going to cancer research, and the jersey became one of the fastest selling in the NFL. Then this video of Stills giving his daughter a pep talk on the way to her chemotherapy went viral, and I totally get it. I get the need to pep up a kid who feels awful and doesn’t understand why they have to go through these things. I get that shit like this shouldn’t happen, but it does. It happens all too often.