Today I am putting down my camera and writing about something that I know will have me in tears before I am done.
It is controversial, maddening, and does not discriminate. You can be young, old, black, yellow, or white, Man or women it doesn't matter. If it wants you it will get you. I am of course talking about CANCER.
I have two friends at this time each fighting their own brand of cancer. Both had been given clean bills of health not that long ago and both have now been told the cancers are back. Two very different stories but both with the same fear as well as strength.
First there is Ava. I have never met Ava but I have met her Grandma and there is Pray for Ava page on face book that I follow so I feel I know Ava too. Ava is 6 years old and just getting ready to start school next year. Almost 2 years ago Ava was diagnosed with a High Grade brain tumor. She was a brave little girl during all the treatments and testing. While she had her moments of fear and upset, for the most part Ava's smile and sweet nature came shinning through in the post pictures and updates her parents posted on Ava's page. When anyone gets cancer it is never them alone that is hurt and suffers or feels fear. Family and friends also feel that sense of dread that " Why me, but it isn't Why me, it is Why her or him ? When it is a child so young and so sweet with so much life yet to live The question why her? Is much bigger and holds so much emotion. You can feel Ava's family being strong and holding themselves together for Ava's sake helping her to be brave. The entire family has an amazing faith and trust in God to be by their side no matter what to help them get through. St. Jude's has been a rock for this family they have done everything and continue to do everything possible to make Ava comfortable and happy while they make her better. So this morning when I read that they had to tell Ava that the tumor is back and I read her reaction " She teared up a little and said does this mean we have to start all over? " I knew it was time for me to write it down and share. It certainly does look like Ava will have to start all over again. I hope you add your prayers and good thoughts for this sweet little girl and her family to mine. All the family has asked for are prayers, but I am sure if the story of Ava inspires you her family would love it if you donated to St. Jude's in the name of Ava.
Lori and I have been friends for more years then I have fingers. We met at fest ( folk fest) and became fast friends. She creative, funny, and full of joy. When Lori went through her first round of Chemo she faced like she faces just about any adversity in her life with a joke and a smile. You would hardly know she was sick unless you knew her well enough to see past the smile lines. Then you would see the fear, the pain, and the uncertainty. Like Ava she was given a clean bill of health and was moving forward in what we all hoped would be a cancer free life. This was not to be. Her last check up wasn't clean and she is no longer cancer free. Lori has always worked hard and done the right thing. She has a nice home with lovely gardens she created and now maintains. No landscapers for Lori she likes to feel the soil in her hands. Lori has a part time job and does everything she can to help herself but Lori is single and has all the same bills we all have then on top of that there are the Medical bills. She went through some time without insurance so they are large medical bills I am sure. Lori has made a fun hat skull cap really for chemo patients that she would like to turn that into a business. It is a good idea and the cap is very cool looking. I know I plan on ordering one child size cap to send to Ava. Lori has reached out to friends and family for financial help in this past month fearing she was going to loose her home. She has found away to save her home for now and she now has insurance so that is good. Lori like Ava is starting chemo all over again meaning she will only be able to maintain her part time job and still have to pay bills as well as copay's. Helping Lori now is like helping Lori have a future. Every dime she gets that isn't being used to live daily life and keep the lights on can be used to help Lori start up a little business that she can grow big enough that she won't have to ask for help again. It is ruff enough facing cancer and all the treatment required to beat it without having to worry about paying bills and having a home to live in. Lori is a fighter and strong spirited women. I am betting on her to win. Please add Lori to your prayer list and if you have been looking for a more personal way to donate to cure cancer then donating to cancer research please do consider Lori. Just think when her Chemo Caps become all the rage you can say I helped start that business.
Paula and I ( Ava's Grandmom ) have a mutual friend that lost her 35 year old niece to cancer. This friend strongly believes that all the processed food, and GMO's in our food is the cause for the rise in cancers and she is not alone in that belief either. Many scientist and DR's agree with her. There has not been enough research done to help us figure it out and it certainly needs to be done. There are so many organizations out there raising money for cancer research and how to cure it. I think we need a few more organizations dedicated to researching how to prevent cancer in the first place.
This was written in April 2014. Please excuse the grammar errors and any misspelling. I have chosen to publish as I wrote it. I was hurting and upset at the thought of losing a friend and that a child so young and so precious could be put through so much fear and pain.
Today April 16 2018, Ava is growing big and strong, she loves to dance, sing, play, and is just a very happy little girl going on 10 years old. Smiles, tears and happiness are what I feel, prayers for Ava to have the the chance at a long happy, healthy life I still say each and everyday.
Lori I am sorry to say lost the fight, her business never happened, she just got so sick she couldn't do it. It will be 2 years this summer that Lori has been gone. I miss her more then words can say. 2016 took so many of my friends and even family, Lori had good company on this unknown adventure we call death, but I would rather they all could have stayed right here on earth with me.
2018 is not much different then 2016 cancer is still a killer that seems to win more then it loses and it still rears it ugly head too close to home for just about everyone I know. This year I have gotten down on my knees and prayed just as hard as I know how to pray as our friend Dave fights the big fight and his wife stands by him trying to be strong, when in truth she is dying inside a little each day as she watches the struggle her husband is being put through. If Dana could take his pain, his fear, and his fight upon herself, you can bet your last dollar she would, and she would do so gladly. I know it is killing her, that she can't do anything but stand beside him. Cancer doesn't just hurt the person it attacks, it takes as many victims as it can reach. If there is one word in the English language that I hate more then any other, it is CANCER.