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Death stalks these halls; we fight back [Jun. 5th, 2014|11:29 am]
We knew, from the look in the doctor's eyes as he came through the door.

But really, we knew before that. We knew from the way the anesthesiology doc who oversaw the MRI made sure that we were going to talk to the oncologist before we left the hospital. We knew from Rebecca's slow fading away from the world. We knew, in spite of the CT scan that had promised false hope. (I remember hearing the results of the scan and feeling depressed and a little angry with them. I wondered what the hell was wrong with me. It wasn't me; it was knowing in my gut that we were being lied to, no matter how innocently.)

Mike from Child Life came in to take Rebecca down the hall to the playroom while the doctor gave us the news. The genetic treatment had been ineffective. The tumor had grown considerably, and two of the flare sites were now larger and clearly emerging tumors. There was no point in continuing treatment, and with the metastisization, no other treatment options.

It was time to take Rebecca home and make the best of the time she has left.

The doctor asked if Kat and Eric wanted to tell Rebecca, and if they wanted him to help. They said yes. Ferrett and I left the room to give them the space they needed as a family. We didn't need to witness so private a moment. We were adrift in the hall, and Mike from Child Life offered to let us use the playroom, now deserted for the evening, to have a space to ourselves.

It's where I found myself with my hands over my mouth, my head pressed against the window, sobbing "No no no no no!" over and over again. And even as I cried, I wondered how many of the children who played with these toys are now buried in tiny graves. How many parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, friends have cried out their despair in that room? How often had hope died here? How do they go on? How do we?

The bravery of the doctors and nurses and other staff that work in pediatric oncology is lightyears beyond my ken. When the doctor came out of the room, Ferrett and I were back in the hallway. Ferrett thanked him for what he was doing, and tears welled up in the doctor's eyes. As we left the ward, all the nurses and staff who knew Rebecca came to say goodbye, knowing that they would not be seeing her again. Their caring and compassion made me both grateful and awestruck. They see this so many times. Childhood cancer steals away so many bright futures. And yet they continue to open their hearts to these children, to care. It's a humbling thing to watch so much dedication where success is so small a commodity.

Back in the fall when we did the CureSearch walk, I was amazed by the involvement of the organizers, because their daughter had died. I thought, "if we lost Rebecca, I don't think I would have the heart to continue doing something like this." And yet, even though I know that she will not be there to run and chase and laugh next fall, I *will* be doing the CureSearch walk. Because no one should ever have to go through this. And I want to do everything I can so that those toys are played with by children who go on living.

[User Picture]From: p_m_cryan
2014-06-05 03:32 pm (UTC)
Here and listening. Wish I could do more.
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[User Picture]From: the_siobhan
2014-06-05 03:35 pm (UTC)
I am so so sorry.
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[User Picture]From: roadnotes
2014-06-05 03:54 pm (UTC)
Listening, bearing witness, holding you in my heart.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2014-06-05 03:59 pm (UTC)
I read this and I read Ferrett's entry yesterday. How you can even talk or write about it amazes me no end because, you're right. It's horrible. Doctors who do the kind of work you're talking about are totally amazing, aren't the? How can they, except there must be some cases where things don't turn out quite as awful as this.

I can't think of anything to say that would help. I'm sorry. I wish Rebecca freedom from pain in the rest of her earthly journey.
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[User Picture]From: dragonsflame71
2014-06-05 04:30 pm (UTC)
Thinking of you & the Meyer's. There are no words or actions that can ease the pain of losing a loved one this way. It never gets better, but in time it gets easier.
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[User Picture]From: veedub
2014-06-05 04:38 pm (UTC)
i'm so sorry.
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[User Picture]From: elf_fu
2014-06-05 05:11 pm (UTC)
If I could step forward to take that bullet...I would. I would. I'm so sorry.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2014-06-05 05:27 pm (UTC)
So would we all. But we can't.
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[User Picture]From: ckd
2014-06-05 05:26 pm (UTC)
Holding you all in my heart.
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[User Picture]From: audacian
2014-06-05 05:46 pm (UTC)
I'm keeping you and your family in my thoughts.
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[User Picture]From: ba1126
2014-06-05 06:06 pm (UTC)
You all remain in my prayers. I'm so very sorry for your pain.
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[User Picture]From: fallconsmate
2014-06-05 06:47 pm (UTC)
i remmber going through the same thing (with an adult) with the same results. he passed, and my life is poorer.

there isn't much i can say other than "i am so very sorry". and i am.
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[User Picture]From: wilhelmina_d
2014-06-05 06:51 pm (UTC)
I am so very sorry. You and theferrett and the Meyers and Rebecca, especially, are in my thoughts.
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[User Picture]From: mplsindygirl
2014-06-05 07:05 pm (UTC)
My heart is with you all. I've been through a similar experience.
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[User Picture]From: mysteri
2014-06-05 07:28 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry. I wish I could actually say something that would help. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers.
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[User Picture]From: perseph12
2014-06-05 08:52 pm (UTC)
I am in awe of you, theferrett, the Meyers, the medical professionals, and most especially, I am in awe of little Rebecca. She doesn't deserve to be suffering like this, but she is handling it with more aplomb than many adults. She is still living life as best she can, and it would be impossible for her to be surrounded by people who loved her any more than you guys do.

I hope that Rebecca gets to enjoy every second available to her, and I hope that she will be free of pain and free and uncertainty.
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[User Picture]From: kagomeshuko
2014-06-05 09:38 pm (UTC)
Y'all and the Meyers are in my prayers for peace and comfort. Death is never fair.
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[User Picture]From: kenakeri
2014-06-05 11:20 pm (UTC)
My heart hurts for you all. I'm so sorry.
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[User Picture]From: kyburg
2014-06-06 03:17 am (UTC)
I am so sorry. They call this a fight - I disagree. It's a mugging, and you're lucky to survive it. If you can.

As if it was ever anything close to a fair fight.

There is little I know in this world more lethal than childhood cancer. Next to nothing.

I am so sorry.
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[User Picture]From: pachamama
2014-06-06 06:15 am (UTC)
Thinking of you.

Sonnet for the Faithless

I asked my faithful friend, how do you pray?
Conversation on a comic's telephone,
striking deals and miming imagined answers?
It is not speech at all. I hold someone
cradled and cherished in the palm of my hand
and then offer them to God, raising
arms upstretched with love.
It seems a simple
thing, but like a waltz or watercolour
harder in the execution. Still
what else can I do to keep you safe
this day when god is nowhere to be found?
I am trying to hold you in the palm
of my heart, a shallow hollow there for you
to balance gently in. I cannot pray.
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[User Picture]From: dabble
2014-06-06 09:13 am (UTC)
My name is Rebecca and I went through my own health crisis the same time as Ferrett did his... I was with my friend when cancer took her only a few months ago... We are on opposite sides of this world and yet there are patterns of experience that we seem to share. I am so thankful you have your own Rebecca and that you have given meaning and love to her life. I am so thankful that she has done the same for you and those you love. Tell her that an Australian Rebecca will pat a kangaroo for her. I am so, so thankful that you gave this love. I just wish it didn't come with pain.
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[User Picture]From: docstrange
2014-06-06 12:28 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry. You've done so much for her and will continue to do so through tears, my heart goes out to you all.
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[User Picture]From: netmouse
2014-06-06 02:20 pm (UTC)
*tearfull hugs to both of you*
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[User Picture]From: coyotegoth
2014-06-06 02:20 pm (UTC)
All strength and grace to her and her family.
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[User Picture]From: xinamarie
2014-06-06 10:22 pm (UTC)
I am so very sorry. There really aren't any words.
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[User Picture]From: shezan
2014-06-07 02:15 am (UTC)
I am so sorry.
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[User Picture]From: aerowolf
2014-06-12 02:56 am (UTC)

I'm sorry, and my comment was too long.

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