Child's Play

During one of our recent chemo hospitalizations, Jim, Callen, Olivia and I sat down in the pediatric playroom for a round of Chutes and Ladders ™. The kids squealed with delight as Jim – who was frustratingly close to a win – was sent down a chute and back a good 20 squares, ensuring the game would go on (and on, and on, and on…!). “They ought to call this game leukemia”, Jim quipped: “you take a few steps forward, then get knocked back again”.

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Running to Stand Still

In just a few hours we will head downtown to begin our fourth inpatient admission for chemotherapy. The final two-weeks of interim maintenance are upon us! Having “been there, done that” now three other times, it makes no sense that I am up at 2 a.m. to ruminate. This is a particularly ill-timed bout of insomnia: given that the days in the hospital are long, and the nights interminable, I would do well to take advantage of a few more hours in my comfortable bed, dark room, and peaceful surroundings. But instead, here I sit - the first of many hot cups of coffee in hand – in quiet anticipation of what is to come.

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ReeseStrong 5K

We are running for Childhood Cancer Research!

Along with Savanna Anchell, Callen was selected as one of the two beneficiaries for the 6th Annual Reese Strong 5k and Gold Ribbon Kid's Run on Saturday September 13th at 8:30 AM.

If you would like to make a donation for Team Callen, please visit his fundraising page.

If you're thinking about running, or having your child join in the Kid's run, you may be interested in the course route.

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Out of the Mouths of Babes

“…And God bless leukemia.”

This final supplication offered by Callen, seemingly as an afterthought, caught me totally off guard. It came at the end of a long litany that was otherwise adorable, predictable and reflective of the day’s events: prayers for relatives, friends, pets, babysitters, superheroes, “the whole world, the whole universe, everyone who is a human”, mommy’s hair (which he wanted to bless because “it seemed dry”) and Santa Claus.

It was late in the evening, Callen’s bedtime routine having required more time and encouragement than usual. His lips were cracked and bleeding, his gums raw and blistered from the newest chemotherapy and its newest side effects. He cried at the sight and sensation of bloody drool oozing from his mouth. He asked for Band-Aids for his teeth: I offered kisses, mouth rinse and lip balm instead.

I hardly saw these final moments of his day as a prelude to “God bless leukemia”.

Had we not just lived through the same fifteen minutes? Or the same last week, for that matter?

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