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More on the Roller Coaster

on December 22, 2014

I was reading a story recently about a man who had lost his wife to STUPID cancer.  He said it wasn’t so much the anniversary days (day of death, her birthday, etc) that he had the most emotions at.  He expected those days, he could “plan” for them.  But rather, it was the random things, that thru him on an intense emotional ride.
I can totally relate.   Some of the toys that were Alexander’s have his name on it.  Some because it was just fun to have stickers with his name on it.  But others, many of them, have a hand written name, and it was only because it was a toy we would bring to the hospital.  We wanted to be keep it separate from the hospital toys, and if we left it behind by mistake, someone could get it to us.  There are days I come across one of those toys, and I am brought right back to those days, so many many days, in the hospital.

When Alexander was sick, I followed several other kids who had neuroblastoma.  Sadly, one by one they died.  When the last one died, I decided that I just couldn’t follow any new kids. I would of course keep in touch with my friends from the hospital, but I wouldn’t follow new kids I didn’t know, because I just couldn’t get that emotionally involved anymore.    Well, “thanks” to Facebook, that hasn’t always happened.  I have followed some new kids, I have become Facebook friends with the parents. Some have died, some are doing awesome.    My heart breaks for the parents of the kids that have died.  I feel their pain, I am angry at cancer with them.   I pray for peace for them.

And when I read about kids that are doing great, I rejoice with the parents!   But, then the emotional roller coaster also hits me.  And I get jealous.  I wonder why THAT child, why not Alexander?  Why was there a new treatment available for that child, and not my Alexander or all the other children that died before him??   I guess it is really more anger than anything, because how can I be angry at a child that is WELL.   Of COURSE I am happy for that child and parents!

Then there are days like today.  Ones where I wake up, and find out that another beautiful child has lost her battle against the STUPID cancer beast.  We first met Shelbie in 2010 just after she was diagnosed with STUPID cancer.  4 years ago this month.  She fought so very hard, but the beast was stronger.  She earned her angel wings last night.   It makes me so angry that these children fight so hard, and still die. It is so unfair.    My heart aches for her mom. (I did not know her dad well, but my heart is heavy for him too)

As you run around crazy these last few days before Christmas (if that is what you celebrate) please take a moment, send up a prayer, positive thought or good vibe for those that are broken-hearted this Christmas.  Don’t worry about getting “everything finished”  know that what you have done IS enough, and that Children will remember LOVE more than they will remember the STUFF.


Christmas 2


7 responses to “More on the Roller Coaster

  1. Liz says:

    I so empathize with you … I am one of the rare lucky ones (so far anyway.) People mean well, but I always feel awkward when I’m told that Arielle was healed because of prayer. Or because she was so strong. What about the children who are not so fortunate? Was it because they were weak? Or prayer was not strong enough? Of course not! Yes, I pray for the health of my children. But I am not EVER going to be so bold as to believe that my prayers are any more genuine than those of a parent who lost their baby. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you, and that you have every right to feel those pangs of envy. Who wouldn’t in your shoes?

    • thecookiegal says:

      I can remember thinking after Alexander died, “Did I not pray right? did I not ever ASK for him to be healed!?!” I read a story once about a child that got a heart transplant. A comment to the story said “God Allowed this miracle to happen”. Hmmm….what about the child/person whose HEART it was? Where was that child’s miracle????? I do believe in God, although my faith is a huge mess right now! I don’t believe that God “Allows” bad things to happen. But, He will get you thru the rough times!!

  2. Betty Courtenay says:

    Nancy. You write so well and convey your feelings. Please know that I think of you often and you and your family are always in my prayers.

  3. Kellie Lavallier says:

    Beautifully written! Thanks for the reminder its about spending time with the kiddos not having to get stuff done 🙂 God bless you!!

  4. Jeff says:


    My family and I lost our beautiful granddaughter and our first grandchild, Anna Rose, to a rare form of Brain/CNS cancer known as AT/RT in February, 2012, just 13 months after she was diagnosed (at 11 months old) and just two weeks after her second birthday.

    Almost three years have passed since Anna became an Angel, and our feelings of grief and loss are just as strong now as when she left us. Perhaps even stronger now as we see other children of similar ages enjoy life and we wonder why Anna wasn’t given the same chance on this earth that these children have been given.

    We remain a religious family, but we don’t yet understand why this happened and we now try and get through life one day at a time. We had people around the world praying for Anna. Did it make a difference? I can’t really say, although I would like to think so and I hope to find out someday. We have also found that our circle of friends has grown smaller over time and that those individuals that we know that have shared the same experiences with us have become a larger part of our life, while other friends and family that have been spared and either can’t or won’t understand have drifted away from contact over time.

    We have also tried to help others through fundraising activities and raising the awareness of the childhood cancer monster within our community, but the pain never goes away. For those lucky enough to have never experienced such a loss, I have often compared the process to that of a soldier who returns from the battlefield without an arm or a leg (or both). Although the soldier survives and lives on, he or she will never be the same and their function on this earth is forever altered in a very significant way.

    As grandparents, my wife and I also carry the additional burden of trying to support our son and daughter-in-law, who have been devastated by the loss of their child. At the same time, we try to deal with our own grief. There is no simple formula or solution to our circumstances. We simply try to move forward as best we can, one day at a time, for the benefit of our other family members, including our other children and grandchildren who also deserve our love and support.

    Feel free to visit to learn more about our activities and to read about our attempts to make some sense of this most horrible of circumstances, one day at a time.


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