The C word.

by - December 09, 2010

Dear Willis and Lucia,
I'm likely going to do many things over the course of raising you that you'll question.  Sometimes the answer will be obvious and other times you may not fully understand my reasoning behind why I maybe keep you in the dark or don't let you do certain things.  You need to know that the only reason any of these things are done is because I love you both so much and want to protect you from the tough stuff in life.  Now I know I'll never be able to keep you completely sheltered and I know that you'll have to live through pain but if I can spare you any sadness then you bet I'll do whatever I can to keep you safe and happy in your little, fleeting bubble of innocent childhood.

Your Grandpa has cancer.
There, I said it. Somehow saying it makes it real and that's something that I've been avoiding since we found out in August.  Ignorance is bliss sometimes.
This has been one of those experiences in life that has marked us so much already but will likely be something you won't even remember because of your age.  That's why I haven't told you.  That's why I only cry by myself or around Daddy.  I don't want you to have to think about it or even process the thought of what could be.  Willis, you are far too young and sensitive and I just don't want go there.

We found out that Grandpa (my dad) had a melanoma (cancerous mole) on his back on August 19th.  I'll never forget that day or that moment or the weeks that would follow.  There was so much uncertainty; so much fear.  But we persevered.   It's been four months of surgeries and waiting and we finally know what we're dealing with.  The mole was removed but it had gone into his lymph nodes in his armpit, which also have been removed.  Thankfully it didn't get any further than that and all that is left is a year of immunotherapy.  We are very fortunate and blessed.

Grandpa's side of the family has had more than a fair share of situations like this.  Did you know that Great Grams had cancer when she was 68?  It was removed and she didn't have to go through treatments.  Grams also had numerous brothers/sisters who had cancer.
Grandpa's brother, Uncle Doug was diagnosed with non Hodgkins lymphoma in 2004. He underwent chemo and then it came back right around 2005. He got the stem cell transplant starting in Dec 2005 and then was in the hospital from early January until the spring. It's been in remission ever since.

You could say that there are bad genes.  Or, you could see that of all the people on that side who faced cancer, won.
Lucia and Willis, you come from a family of fighters. Of believers.  Of survivors. 
Nothing in life is guaranteed and I can't tell you what will happen in the future but do know that when you have the support of family and friends like you both do; anything is possible.  Never give up hope and please drink your milk.  That's all.

Love you mucho,
your mommy.

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  1. Well said :0). A bit of a tear jerker though!
    - Ky

  2. Wow Deena...if I'm reading correctly, it means your dad is in the clear? I don't know what to say besides "wow" and that I hope everything continues to be okay for your dad and your family.

  3. plus always wear sunscreen - esp when you are a little kid.

  4. That was a brave post. Great writing.


Have a lovely day!