Thursday, July 20, 2006

Six Months

I can hardly believe that our lives came to a screeching halt over six months ago. These past months have been the most tumultuous, the most horrific and the most rewarding of my life.

We’ve seen kindness of every type from our family and friends, who looked after Sydney when we had to travel, made us meals or simply listened when we needed to talk. Strangers have taken up the cause of our beautiful little girls, befriended us and given us incredible hope and courage. Other families who are fighting this terrible disease, and many who have lost children to it, have given us their time, their support and their love.

And in the middle of it all, Georgia continues to grow and develop. The scars on her abdomen are fading, but I’ll always see them.

Georgia had her six month MRI yesterday. The day started with a whimper, when Scott gently awakened me and explained that I’d set my alarm wrong and missed our early wake up by an hour. Instead of arriving at the hospital by 7:30 am, we couldn’t hope to be there before 8:30. We all piled into the minivan and dropped Sydney off at my parent’s place. Georgia complained bitterly about her imminent state of starvation when she caught me sneaking a cereal bar, but she didn’t mind missing out on the coffee.

We were whisked right into the pre-anesthetic area in the MRI department and Georgia was set upon by two nurses and two doctors. She put up with all the probing and prodding with a bemused expression. She barely spoke, and she didn’t object to the gown. She seemed almost resigned to it, or maybe she’s forgotten our previous dozen visits there (hopefully). It’s nice that she cooperates, but I would almost rather see her fighting and complaining and getting ready to take somebody down with her.

I put her on the table, held her hand and kissed her face while she inhaled the gas, and then came the worst moment of every visit—I turned my back on my baby and walked away. Even freshly brewed Starbucks coffee tastes bitter when your baby is asleep down the hall at the mercy of a huge, loud, metal machine.

A little over an hour later, we were reunited with our groggy, ravenous child. She bounced back incredibly quickly. We left the MRI department at 10:30 and by 12:15, she was in the deli of the IKEA chowing down on a hot dog and fries.

We saw Dr. Cook in the afternoon for a quick examination. Everything looks good. No MRI results yet. We’ll let you know.

Sydney has been doing a ton of fundraising, writing thank you notes and making appearances. A couple of stores in Kingston have approached us and asked if they can sell bracelets. Her total raised for the James Fund is now over $10,000. We are so proud of this little girl, who has taken such a difficult time in our lives and given it such positive energy.

I’ll finish with the thought I repeat to myself every time I walk away from my sleeping baby:

If God came to me and told me I could choose to give away the cancer, but I would have to give up the child and take another, what would I do? I’d tell him ‘no, thanks’. I wouldn’t give up my precious G and her toothy smile and her ‘doo-doo’ and her innie-outie belly button, not in a million years. Not ever.


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