On Feb 14th 2006, Valentines day, our (then) 11 yr old daughter was diagnosed with AML Leukemia. Our world seemed to come crashing down on us. We were admitted into Children's Hospital at Loma Linda. We had to live in the hospital, away from home, for 8 long months while she underwent aggressive chemo therapy treatments. We only got to go home two times in those long eight months and that was only for 2 days at a time. It was a long and scary road we traveled, but the support both financially and emotionally helped, we were very blessed. Prayers helped to. I know they did. Thank you for all those who contributed those as well. So many different churches, and people, I thank you. I do believe in a Divine power and the power of prayer. I know it helped. You pray ALOT when in such dire times. The hospital staff at Loma Linda Children's hospital was great. They were not only there to help physically, but mentally as well. Candle Lighters is also a GREAT support to the kids and I am so thankful to them. They do so much to help the children and families there. They give out many books to parents to read to help us understand treatments. They offer support groups on site, and help us deal with our anxieties and greif. They supply breakfast each morning. They also bring EACH child undergoing treatment in the hospital one gift each week. When your confined to a hospital room, for MONTHS on end, this is something so precious the kids look forward to. During those long months, its nice to have something fun to participate in. Candle Lighters is a great organization. If you ever want to give to a charity that you KNOW will help those it is intended to help, this is one I would recommend. They were a wealth of help to us, and EVERY family there. I can't say enough good about them, or how much they helped us.
During those long moths of treatments, we had to leave our home, and our animals. Our life stopped in order to face this new challenge. On Feb 14th 2006 we left home, and did not return for 8 long months. Our world came crashing down around us, and we had to abandon our home and our beloved animals to. Our family, our animals, our home, and our very lives were cared for by loving friends and family who came to our aid when we needed it most. Our community here raised funds for us and kept us from losing our home and our vehicles. I am so thankful for everyone, and all they did to help us. Words can never express our deepest gratuities or ever state what it has meant to us. They made it possible for my husband to take much needed time off work to be at our daughters side. Friends and family came to our rescue and helped us with the care of our son. He was deeply impacted by what was happening. It was very hard on him. He was only 7 at that time adn he loves his sister very much. It was a crisis, but our friends, family, and community, and hospital helped support us. I am so very thankful for all of them, I know I am repeating myself, but I can't say that enough, and for my lifetime, will always be grateful. There is a song out now by Tracey Lawrence called 'find out who your friends are'. It is one of my favorites. It brings tears to my eyes still when I hear it because it reminds me how we found out just how big hearts can be, how strong a community can work, and how much our friends, and family really love us. We have been so blessed. I am so very very grateful for so many, many things! But most of all that our daughter is not 2 years post chemo, in highschool, and enjoying life again. It is all such a blessing.
My daughter had her 12 birthday in the hospital during chemo, but I feel blessed to say she spent her 13th birthday at Johns Pizza, a party for her, and is now back in school loving every minute of it! When we got to come back home we were so happy to be able to come home, to bring her home! It has taken a long time to get back into the swing of 'normal' life. When my daughter was well enough, we were thrilled to be able to get back into raising Pomeranians! This is something we do as a family and all of us enjoy it. It helped us to get back into a routine of normal life doing something fun and rewarding. Dogs can really help in healing. They give us so much.
We are a very close family. Closer then ever now. Our dogs are part of our family. When we went into the hospital my daughters dog did not eat for approx 4 days. She just slept on my daughters bed and would not leave. It was very difficult on her as she could not understand where her family had run off to. Now she is back to being glued to my daughters side. Happy and content. We love you Tinker!!!
If you, or a loved one has or is undergoing treatment, our hearts and prayers go out to you.