Sunday, July 11, 2010

Elephant in the Living Room?

When we first found out about Sarah's cancer diagnosis, the outpouring of support was incredible and so comforting. Even in the hospital the very next day we had compassionate doctors and nurses at our side answering any question, and a sweet social worker who is really sincere in her concern for our family and in wanting to help in any way she can. There is also a support group based in the hospital called P.O.R.T.--I can't remember what it stands for--that was founded by parents who had children with cancer, who knew what it is like, and wanted to help other parents going through this. They provided a bag of necessities and goodies, and they provide a snack room full of things to munch on, all free of charge for families. They also provided a book about childhood cancer, and the nurses bookmarked the section about Sarah's type of cancer.

Well, those first few days I read and read and read that book. In a way it's a good thing to read because obviously it is very informative. But in another way, I might not encourage people to read it because it is full of people's experiences, and many of them can put worries or fears in your head that you probably won't even have to experience yourself.
One of the chapters is about what it was like for these families to go through this journey having a child with cancer. I remember one of them said that for the whole time they were going through it, their life was pretty much defined by the cancer. They said that even when they weren't experiencing anything cancer related, it was still like an elephant in the living room. And now, years later, it is much better, and cancer is more like only a zebra in the kitchen.

I sat there and thought about that for a minute. I wondered if that was truly how it would be. This cancer diagnosis was going to consume us? It was always going to be the elephant in the room, or at best the zebra in the kitchen? How sad! Well, I had no idea how it would look for us, but I sincerely hoped that that would not be the case.

I am happy to say after 2 rounds of chemo and getting ready Friday for her 3rd, that cancer is not consuming us. It does not consume our thoughts during the day or haunt us at night. Sarah is not bothered by it most of the time, and frankly, I sometimes forget she even has it! I am so very thankful that simply our wonderful God consumes us and our thoughts. Of course when we are in the hospital, or taking her temperature, giving her shots, or wearing masks while we change her dressings, we remember our sweet girl has cancer. But when we are between hospital visits, we are just enjoying our summer and enjoying each other just like every other year. Aside from our two year old girl being nearly bald, life is as normal as can be, and there is no elephant whatsoever in our living room. : )

Yesterday, we had a great time at the camp my brother-in-law runs. I love, love, love summer!! Especially because it stays light until about 10 at night, just the way it should. More hours in the day for more time for fun!


  1. Oh Holly...what an excellent post. I'm reading it with tear-filled eyes because it brings so much glory to the Lord. You are right...cancer should not be what's consuming you (although it would be so easy to let it). I absolutely love what Jesus is doing in your heart. His grace radiates brightly through you and your family. And In your weakness, He is made strong.

    The pics are so precious!

    Love you!!

  2. Holly, you and your family are amazing! I love you so much!!! Your family is an awesome testament to God's ability to carry us through each storm. We don't have to be consumed with fear or anxiety when He is in the boat with us!!! Keep posting...this is good stuff. <3