Tuesday, April 24, 2012

And This Concludes Our Countdown

Recently I had a conversation with one of my new (and now very dear) friends.  He has two sons, the oldest of whom is severely disabled and the youngest of whom could not possibly be healthier.  His oldest son started having frequent seizures when he was only a few months old... thus changing his family's path forever.  For years they did not know the cause of their son's seizures and severe disability.  And so, my friend confessed, he knew the exact day that his youngest son turned the age that his brother was when the seizures began.


I knew exactly what he was talking about.  For four and a half months, ever since Ronin turned six, I have been silently counting down the days until she turned the exact age that her brother had been when he was diagnosed with leukemia.  Now, my friend's countdown makes sense... they did not have a diagnosis for their oldest son and for all they knew, it was a terrible genetic disorder that had also been passed down to their new baby boy.  My count down, on the other hand, makes significantly less sense.

The doctors have assured us that the chances of having two children with leukemia are... well... it's just not possible.  It's unheard of really.

Clearly, Hunter's medical team would not carelessly transplant him with bone marrow that also carried the leukemia gene.  That would simply be idiotic.

Still, this week, I breathe a heavy sigh of relief as my countdown comes to a close.  Ronin is officially the same age that her brother was when he spent his first week in the hospital.  
Hunter and Ronin together on transplant day.

I'm starting to think that perhaps the countdown wasn't entirely based upon fear.  Part of it, I believe, has been about being able to experience this part of six with a child who is not sick.  In many ways, Hunter never got to be six and a half.  And when he was being that age, I was hardly with him.  So this will be my first time parenting a six and a half year old and that is rather exciting.

I realize how ridiculous all of this sounds... and I'd been carrying it around with me... keeping it to myself.  I was so glad when my friend shared his experience with me.  His words helped me feel less alone.  At least now I know there is one other person in this world who gets this. 


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1 comment:

  1. I understand well. Not only with my son's cancer diagnosis at his 6 month well child, but also with my late niece's death at 19 months. With my second child, as well as my other nieces and nephews, as they've passed the 6 month and 19 month marks, it's impossible not to think "This is how old Bradley/Reilly was when..." :( So thankful for Ronin's health. Still think of you all often.

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