Sunday, September 4, 2011
A few things...
All is well here. Piper is just amazing and her strength while going through the amounts of chemo she has endured is simply amazing. She is neutropenic, meaning her immune system is practically non existent. While this is the goal while fighting leukemia it puts her at a severe risk of infections. Thankfully she is still the hardy little Piper we all know and love...blowing kisses to the nurses as she pushes her little stroller around the floor. She has had a surprisingly low amount of side effects and we are so thankful for that. Unfortunately in order to kill the horrible, no good, very bad leukemia cells Piper will first have to be very sick (chemo first, then raditation and then transplant and those effects) before prayerfully she beats this monster.
So far so good.
Did you know that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month? I didnt either until September of 2009 when we first heard the words "leukemia" and "Piper" used in the same sentence. Ever since that month I have had a daily reminder that cancer is not only for the adults...it effects children, infants and teens as well.
And here are the ugly facts:
-All child cancers combined receive 3% of the American Cancer Society's research funds.
-In the last 20 years, only 2 drugs were developed for child cancers.
-Each school day, 46 children are diagnosed with cancer
-Each day, 7 children DIE from cancer
-One in 320 children will develop cancer by age 20
-Cancer remains the number one disease killer of children; more than genetic anomalies, cystic fibrosis, and AIDS combined
-Cancer treatment can cause serious side effects that may last a lifetime
-Relapsed Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia carries a poor prognosis, 10%-50% survival
-Leukemia is the most common form of cancer in children
-Every year since 2003 federal funding for childhood cancer research has been CUT.
While these facts are indeed ugly you know our family is Hopeful. Not only for a Cure but for a Cure within our lifetime. In order to achieve this goal we have to work together. There is an amazing organization here in Atlanta that does just that...and this month in response to our beautiful children in this area who are fighting or once fought, they chose a few faces to honor. And my Piper was chosen this year. It is our goal to raise $1000 to go towards research and hope and a bright future. Anyone who is interested in seeing the amazing fighters and donating money towards such an very good cause in honor of my Piper can find the link here:
And please also check out curechildhoodcancer.org to see more of what CURE is doing for so many children and their families.
As Piper nears her 24th month of chemotherapy I am reminded of the beginning of this journey when two years of treatment seemed so very, very,very far away. Now we begin again with less optimism but a huge dose of Hope and I am still in awe of those who have fought the long fight. Want to have a small glimpse of the hell and heaven that the cancer life brings?
Check out chicagonow.com/mary-tyler-mom
This mom fought with her sweet daughter for almost 3 years and this month in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness month she is doing a daily post with details of each of the thirty one months her Donna fought. Today is the 4th of September and it is the forth month of Donna's fight. Read and follow it...it is eloquently raw.
Tomorrow I will post more about Piper and life as we now know it. Tonight I am showing you a snippet of what childhood cancer means and how amazing are the fighters and supporters both.
You probably wont be a fighter but you should be a supporter.