Sunday, April 23, 2006


I’m listening to a song called “Live Like You Were Dying”. It talks about a man who learns to savour each moment and forgive and see tomorrow as a gift. I’ve been thinking a lot about that idea lately. How we get so wound up in the future, so focused on what will happen, that we almost forget to celebrate how wonderful today is.

Georgia doesn’t have to learn to do that. Her gift, the great gift of a child, is that each moment is lived so fully, experienced with nothing held back. Someone telling her ‘No’ brings a wail, she drops to her knees and hides her face like the world is ending. And, when she does a somersault, she lands on her back and cries ‘Yaaayyy’. The pure joy of those moments, the absolute roller coaster of any 10 minutes of her life, is how we should all be living.

In medical jargon, this week involved the 2nd post-care MRI for a 21 month old diagnosed with Stage 2B neuroblastoma on January 6th at the time of excision.

For her parents, it involved a drive to Ottawa, a sleepless night (mixup, silly us, missed Ronald McDonald House, had to go to hotel), no breakfast for a baby who loves her food, waiting, having a nurse take her vitals and letting her cry when she had to change into the gown (apparently the gown is a marker of a hard day to come), waiting some more, laying her on a table where a very nice doctor puts a mask over her face, holding her hands while she breathes in the anesthetic and then walking away from her for over an hour, drinking lots of coffee and listening carefully to the overhead announcements while we wait some more. She took the anesthetic so well this time (left her soother in her mouth under the mask) that she was having a peaceful nap while she recovered from the drugs. Rest of the day: feeding the hungry baby, removing her IV, wheeling the stroller over to the clinics for her first doctor appointment, waiting while they tried to get the MRI results (nope), quick visit with the urologist, lunch break, upstairs to the Medical Day Unit and waiting in the playroom (with the great clown Molly Penny), more vitals, urine collection (she did look really cute trotting around with that little bag peeking out of her diaper), blood collection (the obligatory cry—and parents admonishing the nurses—why didn’t they take blood while she was unconscious earlier?), waiting for another hour or so, visit with the medical student (her medical history is now too long for me to tell anyone in a few minutes, and they realize that, thank goodness), meeting her post-care oncologist, and getting the phone number to call next week for the radiologist’s report on the MRI. Drive home. Try to relax for a week while we wait for the results. She told me to call after 2. I’ll be on the phone at 2:01.

We went bowling yesterday, and Georgia beat us all. On the 2nd game, she scored 143.

Bracelet update—Sydney has now collected over $1,000 for the James Fund. We have been invited to their Gala on May 19th, so that Sydney can help to sell more bracelets there. They’re expecting 400 people, so my mother and sister are now knitting bracelets, too. Lori and Sasha at my work are doing a great job raiding needlepoint stashes for embroidery thread.

Sydney was interviewed by a reporter from our local weekly paper (the Frontenac Gazette) this week about her charitable work and she gave a presentation to her Brownie troop with one of the local cancer centre nurses.

Scott and I are getting by. I have to admit, every time G points to a leg or arm and tells me ‘ouch’ (this cancer metastasizes to bone and causes pain), I take a deep breath. But, if her hat is pulled off the wrong way, she says ‘ouch’. Some days are harder than others when the gorilla on your back is this huge, but each clear medical check is a milestone that will take us closer to success in Georgia’s fight against this disease.


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