In April, 2010, when Andrew was 2 1/2, a tumor was discovered behind his eye. The tumor was removed, but it was found to be an aggressive cancer. He endured seven months of chemo and six weeks radiation. In December of 2010, the day after his last treatment, he was rushed to the ER with an almost fatal bacterial infection. He survived.

He is now seven-years-old!! I don't visit here much, because during the ordeal, this is where I dumped everything--my rage, my fear, my sadness, my ugly, my hope, my everything. But I want all of you who supported and prayed for us to hear his updates. You helped me survive, and I am deeply thankful. Every once in awhile, I will check in to let you know how he's doing. Please continue to pray that cancer will never return to his body. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Just spent another two nights in the hospital.  More needles , more pain, more suffering.  I am worn out and depressed.  In addition to killing cancer cells, the chemo also kills off all of Andrew's white blood cells, which makes him extremely susceptible to infection.  If he gets even a minor fever, they fear  bacteria could quickly take over his whole body.  So with a fever of 101, we have to rush to the hospital.  And commit to 48 hours of antibiotics. And we just spent last weekend there getting chemo.  And then next Monday, more chemo.  We need some mercy.  There doesn't seem to be any.

I am getting to the point where I don't want to talk or write about it anymore.  I just want to crawl into a dark dark cave and feel sorry for Andrew and for myself.  I keep thinking of the people in concentration camps and the orphaned children in Africa, and people all over the world who had/have it SO much worse than we do.  How did/do they get through even one day?

I get bogged down with worry and fear.  And the constant intrusion into our lives. And shuttling our crap back and forth to the hospital.  And the constant chasing Andrew down to give him his "treatments" of horror.  He cries when I wash his hair, let alone poke him with needles and force him to gargle "boogers" (his name for the yellowy pasty nystatin he has to have swabbed on his cheeks three times a day).  ENOUGH.  Yet we have many more months to go.

I feel so angry that I am so vulnerable around these doctors and nurses.  I don't like my role of "patient's mother."  I don't like to be vulnerable in front of other people, especially people I don't know.  I am rarely vulnerable in front of people I do know (except when I am writing).  I don't like to be seen in the miserable heap in which I find myself.  I just feel like "Who invited you?  I don't even know you.  How dare you intrude into my pain?"

I imagine these doctors and nurses not caring one bit, and doing their work, getting their paycheck, and going home to their nice comfy couches and cancer-free children.  I resent that I am at their mercy.

 I have to coach myself into not feeling angry.  I have to coach and convince myself into accepting that they are trying to help Andrew, even if their solution is to poison him first.  My gut is in complete rebellion, but my mind keeps trying to convince it.

When I used to hear about cancer happening to other people, it always made sense to view it as an unfortunate mutation, a horrible random thing that life throws at us.

But now that it has happened to my two year old son, it feels pure evil.  As if some evil being knew exactly the right button to push.  With one mutated cell, it is able to destroy lives, destroy families, create pain, create anger, create more evil, create a domino effect of horror.  The perfect plan of destruction.

I'm worn out.  And I'm not even the one who's sick.  God have mercy.


  1. I am praying so hard for strength for you and your son.

  2. Hi Julie - hang in there. I won't pretend to know what you are going thru cause I don't. My Mom/a good friend both have cancer of course they are adults but my hat is always off to them for their courage and strength. Maybe you could join a support group at your hospital. Some things in life just don't make sense.

  3. Oh, Julie. I wish I was nearby to give you a hug. I wish for Andrew to never have any more pain. I wish for the cancer to be gone. My wishes are continuing prayers for you, my friend, that all the above to be true. I'm so sorry that your precious boy is going through this, and your family also. Keeping you in my heart and prayers always...

  4. I cant even begin to understand what you all are going through...praying for strength for you and Andrew.

  5. Hugs!

    I wish there was something that I could say to make things better or at least make you smile, but this sucks and I'm so, so sorry that it's happening to your little guy.

    More hugs...

    (BTW... I'm not a huggy person, so that's a big deal.) :)

  6. Oh Julie.... this one makes me cry. I'm so sorry that this is your life right now. So sorry that ANYBODY has to have this in their lives right now.
    Will say an extra prayer for you and all your boys tonight.

  7. there aren't any words that seem to be comforting - what about rigging up a punching bag - I mean a heavy-duty boxer-type training one - one where you can just go beat the sh** out of after one of these days. I don't know - I am so sorry - and even looking at those words they seem hollow. I'm praying for mercy.

  8. check out my blog today! did a post on Andrew.

  9. I have not read your blog before, not even sure how I came across it today. But this post brought tears to my eyes.

    No one should get cancer and especially not children. It breaks my heart what you and your family are going through.

    So a hug from a stranger (with 2 boys and 2 male cats). My thoughts will be with you and Andrew today.

  10. I just came by from Kimberly's Corner. I took Andrews Button to post on my Blog.
    'Happy moments, PRAISE GOD. Difficult moments, SEEK GOD. Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD. Painful moments, TRUST GOD. Every moment, THANK GOD..' Rick Warren.
    I will be praying and lifting your family up to Christ everyday. Many Blessing and Healing, Deborah

  11. I know how you feel I hated crying in front of the doctors. I didn't want to show my weakness I wanted to be tough. We actully left one doctore because of the way she treated us. I hope you never have to do that.

  12. I wish I could hug you too. My friend has a three year old who has been going through chemo. So so hard. I'm sorry.

  13. I can't even imagine!!
    You need all the blogging love you can get... and if i were closer (and i don't know you!) I would give you a big ol' hug.
    Life it too much sometimes...
    I am praying for you guys!! Sending you lots of love and hugs!
    (And I hope that the doctors out there are treating you well.. my boyfriend is a doctor and his heart is his patients. There are some out there so I really hope you find some that truly care!)

  14. Oh Julie... There just are no words to come close to taking away your hurt, anger, worry and pain. Praying for mercy and for grace that is new each morning and really, new each moment. It may sound cliche, but this WILL come to an end and you will return to a sense of normal... a different normal, but one that doesn't include chemo and days in the hospital. Hang in there and know that I continue to pray for you.

  15. I don't know you and I am not even sure how I stumbled onto your blog about a week ago. I am the mom of 3 little boys as well and what you are going through is simply a nightmare. You are in this stranger's thoughts and prayers.

    I'm not sure if this helps or not, but my mom is a pediatric oncology nurse in Las Vegas. She is one of the many who have to administer the poison (chemo) to little kids everyday. She brings these kids home with her everyday and can often be found crying for the pain she had to inflict and for the injustice of it all after a day of work. My point is, there are good ones out there!

    I hope that you are able to find some peace during this terrible time in your life. I will continue to keep you in my prayers.

  16. I just reread my comment and I want to make sure that you don't take this the wrong way. I know you are totally justified in your anger! And it has to be directed somewhere. I just wanted you to know that maybe you can find someone (even a nurse) who you feel is on your side!

  17. "There is in every true woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity."
    This is one of my favorite quotes from college English; it's by Washington Irving. Keep that fire burning, Julie! It will carry you and Andrew through.

  18. I somehow stumbled upon your blog just now for the first time. Your little boys are so precious. Andrew's brilliant blue eyes are so beautiful!

    I just wanted to give you a bit of encouragement about your situation. I am an oncology nurse. I work in a women's cancer center and while I only deal with women's cancers: breast, ovarian, endometrial, etc. I know how difficult it is for me being here with these grown women while they go through their treatments and pain and suffering. Grown being the key word because if it takes this much of a toll on me to care for grown women, I could not even begin to imagine the pain I'd feel if I were taking care of precious children such as yours. Sometimes we have to pretend to be tough and hold it together for our patients' benefit as well as their families benefit. But believe me, we care. I take each one of my patients home with me every night and have cried to my husband when things just pile up.

    I can't speak for the nurses and doctors that are caring for your beautiful little boy, but I know that oftentimes patients/families deal better with straight forward information. However, being straight-forward does not mean being cold, so I encourage you to speak up if you feel they are being cold and uncaring.

    I am quite sure that if the nurses caring for your little Andrew have any heart whatsoever, they truly do care about him and what he is going through. I hope that you will be able to see their hearts in the future, even if they have a tough exterior. I will definitely be praying for loving, caring and compassionate (as well as intelligent and skilled!!) nurses and physicians for your son; and of course for his long-term recovery and healing. Also for comfort and healing for your entire family.

    God bless.

  19. Hello. I just stumbled across this blog. My fiancé is undergoing chemo right now for testicular cancer, though the tumor was removed, we too are doing it to ensure it NEVER comes back. And, he is currently in the hospital because Saturday he spiked a fever and his counts are very low.

    It is so hard to be a caretaker. And it is impossible for anyone to understand unless they have been through it. I find myself too getting frustrated with the drs/nurses but ultimately realize they do care, or they probably couldn't handle a job like this.

    Best of luck, and extra prayers for you and your family.


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