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Rebecca [Mar. 30th, 2014|11:01 am]
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Last fall, on a crisp and sunny October morning, a mob of Meyer relatives, friends, and friends-of-friends gathered at Wade Oval, all dressed in purple shirts, to participate in the CureSearch Walk for Children's Cancer. We were a merry group of about 40 people. We'd raised the most money of any group, and we had our precious Rebecca running about on the grass, playing chase with Uncle Ferrett, riding on Uncle Jim's shoulders, laughing.

I can only imagine now that the other participants, battle worn from their years of fighting, the pain of their losses, looked upon us and thought, "They're like innocent children. They are still playing at cancer."

Because, despite hearing the prognosis for anaplastic astrocytoma, despite living through the crisis of her original diagnosis and surgery, despite radiation and chemotherapy, despite knowing intellectually that this cancer kills almost all of its victims in a relatively short time, I don't think there were any of us who didn't still believe that Rebecca's story was going to have a happy ending. In our minds, this was going to be a long battle, but it was going to culminate in extra poignant, happy tears at her high school graduation. We were going to remember how close we came to losing her, and cherish how lucky we were to still have her with us. Cancer was going to make us extra grateful for the blessing of Becca in our lives.

Rebecca is not going to graduate from high school. She may not even make it to her sixth birthday. As Eric explains here, her cancer has returned, despite the fact that she was in chemotherapy: a large tumor in a different part of her brain than before, and multiple "flare sites" throughout her brain that indicate new tumor growth. The doctors have told them that surgery would be pointless, and would probably negatively impact the quality of life of what time they have left. They are still seeking to get into some studies, but those would only be to prolong her life a matter of weeks or months. If they qualify, and if the study drugs work.

We are still all praying for that miracle, that wonder drug that bursts onto the scene and saves her. We all still want that happy ending and those poignant tears at life's milestones. But that window of possibility is closing quickly. Far, far too quickly.

People ask me how I feel. I feel like someone has jerked the rug out from underneath me and I am falling backwards. I'm off balance, and in shock, and trying to find a way to brace myself for the impact of when I hit the ground. I know I'm going to break something when I finally crash down, I just don't know what yet. I can't even cry yet; tears well up, but I panic that if I let go my sobs will turn into screams and I wont. stop. screaming.

I just can't imagine a Rebecca-less world.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: fjm
2014-03-30 03:44 pm (UTC)

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I am so terribly sorry. Our local minister and his wife lost their middle daughter to cancer two years ago. Our last memory of her is as a bridesmaid at her elder sister's wedding. There is no real comfort to offer, but I send my very best.
[User Picture]From: roadnotes
2014-03-30 04:19 pm (UTC)

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Reading, witnessing, and you are all in my head and heart. There are no words in this language to say "I grieve with you" properly.
[User Picture]From: p_m_cryan
2014-03-30 04:23 pm (UTC)

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I'm so sorry.
[User Picture]From: ba1126
2014-03-30 04:58 pm (UTC)

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My prayers, weak as they are, for all those in Rebecca's life. I'm so sorry.
[User Picture]From: fallconsmate
2014-03-30 05:17 pm (UTC)

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i am so very sorry. not only for the news, but for everyone who loves that sweet little girl.
[User Picture]From: coeli
2014-03-30 05:51 pm (UTC)

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I am so sorry. The whole family is in my prayers.
[User Picture]From: roniliquidity
2014-03-30 05:53 pm (UTC)

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That's awful, I'm so sorry to You guys, Becca and the Meyers have to go through this. I was really hoping it would somehow all work out. If there is anything we can do to brighten her day, if she'd like to get art or postcards or something in the mail, please let us know.
[User Picture]From: jmfunnyface
2014-03-30 06:49 pm (UTC)

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I am so sorry.
[User Picture]From: darthfox
2014-03-30 07:43 pm (UTC)

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I'm so sorry. It's such an awful thing - I crumpled and hyperventilated and wanted to throw up when my mom said all the doctor had for them was "I think it would be good if your children were here", and I can't even imagine being in that place with regard to a little kid.

Thinking of you all.
[User Picture]From: veedub
2014-03-30 08:02 pm (UTC)

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i'm so sorry.
[User Picture]From: gentleeleos
2014-03-30 09:12 pm (UTC)

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I am so, so sorry. There are no words. There are days that I am reminded how lucky I am to have my little family all here and well. I am grateful for that. The world is cruel that this is the way we are reminded of such things. I am sending prayers, which is, unfortunately, all I have to give.
[User Picture]From: cyan_blue
2014-03-30 09:29 pm (UTC)

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I am so very very sorry.
[User Picture]From: tithenai
2014-03-30 09:37 pm (UTC)

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I'm so sorry, Gini. This is heart-breaking. My thoughts are with you and them.
[User Picture]From: christilyn
2014-03-31 12:11 am (UTC)

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A friend of mine recently lost his daughter to childhood brain cancer and started the Smashing Walnuts foundation. Their efforts to increase funding to childhood cancer have spurred the Gabriella Miller Childhood Cancer Act. If your friends would like an introduction to this family, please let me know. They are phenomenal people and I am a happy donor to their organization.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/federal-pediatric-medical-research-act-named-for-gabriella-miller/2013/11/14/f87b42e0-4d72-11e3-be6b-d3d28122e6d4_story.html
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2014-03-31 04:06 pm (UTC)

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I know that they have been following the Act. I will ask them about your invitation. Thank you.
[User Picture]From: wilhelmina_d
2014-03-31 02:27 am (UTC)

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I'm so very sorry. This is just devastating and you and Rebecca and her family have my best wishes.
From: (Anonymous)
2014-03-31 02:29 am (UTC)

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I think one of the most beautiful things about humanity is our capacity for hope. Until the last possible second, we will continue to pray and strive and dream, even knowing the odds are stacked against us. My brother was dying of hepatitis until he got into a double-blind study for a new drug, lucked out and got the real medicine, and it actually cured him. We were making plans to take care of his kids, and I was at the place you are now, suspended in that long, long fall, waiting to hit the ground. I wish with all my heart for that miracle for Becca.
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2014-03-31 04:05 pm (UTC)

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Praying for the same kind of success story here.
[User Picture]From: the_siobhan
2014-03-31 02:31 am (UTC)

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I know the feeling you describe very well. When my sister died all I could do was wander around saying, "It wasn't supposed to happen this way. Her transplant was supposed to save her."

I am so very very sorry. For you and for Ferrett and for Rebecca & her family and for everybody.


[User Picture]From: zoethe
2014-03-31 04:04 pm (UTC)

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I feel for your loss so deeply.
[User Picture]From: bunny42
2014-03-31 01:51 pm (UTC)

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My best friend was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer which had metastasized to her liver. Her odds of surviving for five years were about 8%. We all figured SOMEBODY had to be among those 8% of survivors, why not Cheryl? Sure enough, she lived another almost 8 years, most of them as if she didn't have that dreadful thing inside her. She had amazing doctors and a huge support system, not unlike Rebecca. It seemed as if every time one of the chemo drugs started to fail, a new one had been approved. Never lose hope. One of the clinical trials could be the answer. Every week, every day was a blessing.
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2014-03-31 04:04 pm (UTC)

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Thanks. I'm trying to cling to those success stories.
[User Picture]From: nex0s
2014-04-03 01:45 am (UTC)

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I'm so, so sorry.
[User Picture]From: hermitgeecko
2014-04-07 10:17 pm (UTC)

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I am so, so sorry. I hoped for the best, and I still hope for a miracle, but I know how unlikely it is. You and Rebecca and Ferrett and your family are in my thoughts.