A mother who saw her young daughter through a battle with cancer shares how little things can make a big difference for kids with serious illnesses.
- Posted on Mar 24, 2017
Other kids were starting kindergarten. My daughter, Kaylee, was starting chemotherapy, one of six grueling rounds she underwent after being diagnosed with neuroblastoma at age four. Doctors said she had a 20 to 30 percent chance of surviving.
“That’s a number,” I said. “That’s not my daughter.”
My husband, Jamie, and I prayed for guidance and opted for an aggressive treatment at the Cleveland Clinic.
I had weight-loss surgery recently and I developed a stubborn infection that turned a one-day hospital visit into a two-week stay. My family and friends rallied around me. Still, I was frightened. I asked everyone I knew to pray for me to heal, as Rick's post recommended. I posted my request on social media, talked to the hospital chaplain and my condition improved. When my husband had the same kind of surgery, I knew exactly how to pray for him, thanks to “6 Ways to Pray for the Sick”. Guideposts Magazine Reader
We tried our best to keep things as normal as possible, but Kaylee didn’t understand what was happening. Whenever a nurse started an IV, Kaylee would ask why she had to get another “pokey.” Enter Miss Sarah, a child life specialist. She spent hours working with Kaylee. She explained things about cancer to Kaylee—and me—in terms she could understand. Miss Sarah became like a family member.
“I have a present for you!” Miss Sarah said one day, holding out a cute blue box. It was a Guideposts Comfort Kit. Kaylee opened it and squealed with joy.
Inside was a journal for Kaylee to record her thoughts and dreams, a squishy blue ball, sticker pages and, best of all, a plush star named Sparkle.
As Kaylee began decorating pages with the stickers, I glimpsed the carefree child she used to be, the one I hoped she would someday be again.
Sparkle rarely left Kaylee’s side during her ordeal. When she had to stay overnight at the hospital, I would sleep in a cot next to her. If she got antsy, we would toss Sparkle back and forth, a good way for her to stay active.
Seven years later, Sparkle occupies a place of honor in Kaylee’s room at home. Kaylee is 11, in remission and as carefree as ever. She doesn’t remember much from her time in the hospital, but I do. I remember a simple blue box and the hope it brought.
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