Wednesday, October 1, 2014

As September (Childhood Cancer Awareness Month)comes to a close, I have to reflect on the support system that has been with us for over two years! I’m so very thankful for everyone that supported us at the CureSearch walk this year and in all the months and events leading up to this fundraiser. Thank you to all of you that donated and/or walked with us – it was amazing to raise more than $10,000 for pediatric cancer research.

I feel very fortunate that my family and friends make such a huge effort to understand what we have and are going through. Cecylia is doing so well, she is happily enjoying jazz class, soccer practices, and kindergarten. You would really never guess what her body went through a short time ago.

Next week, Cecylia has her 18 month off treatment scans. Please say some extra prayers in the coming days. Please pray that Cecylia remains cancer free. I also need prayers for myself – I am super stressed this time around. I am certain we will hear nothing but good news next week, but I am having a lot of anxiety right now and could use any and all positive thoughts and prayers. Please also pray that the IV poke that goes along with the CT scan will be bearable for Cecylia – these pokes always stress her out!

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I have posted on here. I am so happy to report that Cecylia is doing so well! She continues to be cancer free – 16 months now! She is getting ready to start kindergarten and, to look at her, you’d never in a million years guess what she went through. Words cannot accurately express how happy I was to see her playing and interacting with other kids at her “Meet the Teacher” event at school tonight. What a wonderful day – thank God!

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Monday, May 19, 2014

As she was falling asleep tonight, Cecylia was remembering a time she got stung by a bee when she was about 2. She asked what she did to make the bee sting her. I told her that she didn’t really do anything, it was just bad luck, I guess. She asked me why everything bad happens to her: cancer, finger pokes, bee stings, bump pokes (when her port was accessed), she falls down a lot and hurts her knees (she still has a little nerve damage in her ankles from the chemo). That pretty much broke my heart!

I asked her what good things happen to her. She said happiness and joy! I told her that she is the strongest, bravest person I know. She agreed with me and dozed off.

I HATE cancer!

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April 14, 2014

Cecylia had her CT scan on Wednesday and we received the news on Thursday morning that she was all clear! Praise God! That means she is one year cancer free!

Now that she is one year off treatment her future scans and regular oncology check ups are less frequent. Instead of monthly, she wil see the oncologist every three months for blood work and a physical exam. She was getting CT scans every three months. Now, she will alternate between an abdominal ultrasound/chest X-ray and CT scans every three months. So, July will be our first time relying on an ultrasound and chest X-ray instead of getting a CT scan. This is done to limit Cecylia’s exposure to radiation.

Please keep praying that Cecylia remains cancer free. Please also pray for Cecylia’s heart health. As far as we know, she still has the heart block issue. She also had a fistula that they are observing. Both of these issues are not affecting Cecylia at this time. I pray that they stay this way or even heal in their own. I pray that neither becomes a problem that has to require a medical intervention. Chemo is very hard on the heart. Luckily, Cecylia is super active (ballet, karate, soccer and gymnastics!) which all help to keep her heart strong. Thank you so much for your continued support!

On another note, I’d also like to say that Lacey has been in my prayers! I’m so sad and sorry for the loss of such a beautiful child. It is just a reminder of how terrible childhood cancer can be. I’m so thankful that Cecylia is well, and it’s times like this that life just doesn’t make sense. I sometimes have to question why a family has to suffer the loss of a child. It is a tragedy that is beyond my comprehension and all I can do is pray for them! I hope you all will do the same.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

I know I haven’t been on here for an eternity, but I just haven’t known what to say. I have so many feelings about things, but I can’t always adequately express the complexity of my feelings. I’m so all over the place.

I want to start by saying that Cecylia and Ainsley are doing so well! They are both happy, healthy, smart and wonderful children – acting just like normal almost 4 and 5 year olds. Which means, most of the time I’m so proud of them. And some of the time, I wondering how my little angel can have such a monstrous tantrum! Yay for normal kids!

My conflicting feelings come from the fact that my worries and anxieties never go away. They haunt me, really. Invading my thoughts at the most inopportune and random times. But then, I also see how wonderful Cecylia is doing and realize I need to be thankful for where she is right now. I cannot live in the past or constantly worry about the future. Except, that is way easier said then done.

The real reason I haven’t been writing is because I’m usually inspired when I’m particularly emotional. I’m a member of a few virtual cancer mom support groups on Facebook. These are amazing forums for me to share and feel like others truly understand me. However, I see and hear about newly diagnosed families, families facing relapse, and some families losing a child to this awful disease. It puts all my worries and anxieties into perspective and I don’t always feel like my worries about the unknown should be shared, when others’ realities are so scary right now. I know I’m always going to worry. But, part of me wishes that I wouldn’t give cancer that much power. That I could push my fears aside and use my energy for something more positive. Like raising awareness and funds for pediatric cancer research. Not to change the subject, but I’m so proud of the work that has been done by my family, friends, and colleagues. We (and I definitely don’t mean I, because most of the money was raised by others – I was merely a coordinator) were able to raise $1,000 for a newly diagnosed family and just over $5,000 for CureSearch (a wonderful organization that raises money solely for pediatric cancer).

So, I used to come on here and just really let it all out. I still want to do that (all the time), but right now I just can’t let cancer do that! I feel it everyday and I can’t control those feelings (I’ve tried). But, I can control my actions: I want to focus on Cecylia’s good health, but never forget about those starting the fight, continuing the fight, or those families that have lost a dear child to this awful disease.

Please continue praying for Cecylia and Ainsley physical and emotional health – I’m so proud of how well they have come out on the other side if this battle! Please also pray for ALL the children diagnosed with cancer!

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January 19, 2014

I can’t believe I didn’t update on here! I updated the Facebook page, but completely spaced on putting it on here – Cecylia’s CT scan results were totally normal! 9 months cancer free – praise God!

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cecylia’s CT scan is on Wednesday, January 15. So, we should have the results the following afternoon. Please pray that we hear good news with this test! I will update everyone as soon as possible. Cecylia’s blood counts have all been normal, she is feeling great and is full of energy – so there is no reason to NOT think that we will get the best news possible on Thursday, but scanxiety is not logical. Needless to say, I’m really anxious to hear the good news.

On another note, I wanted to let everyone know about a really exciting event that Jeff and I are helping to plan: Hoops For Hope. It’s a Varsity Boys Basketball game that we are working on with the Bloomfield Hills Boys Basketball Team and Booster Club. Bloomfield Hills plays Clarskton High School on January 28 at 7:00 p.m. and we are going to Gold Out the game in order to raise important funds for pediatric cancer research (gold is the color for pediatric cancers). Most of the funds will be donated to CureSearch (you can find more info at www.CureSearch.org) and some will be donated to a family that is newly diagnosed and in need of some financial assistance. It’s going to be a great event: we are selling T-shirts so the whole auditorium will be a sea of gold, Jeff’s friend from high school, Cal from Cal & Co. on 89X will be announcing the game, we will have music, raffles, and a chance to honor the kids affected by pediatric cancer! We are really excited to be giving back and to be proactive in bringing more awareness to pediatric cancer. If you are interested in joining us, please come to the game. We will have T-shirts available for sale at the game for $15. If anyone is interested in donating, you can donate directly to CureSearch at our Hoops for Hope team page: http://www.curesearchwalk.org/detroit/hoops4hope

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December 26, 2013

I haven’t written on here in a very long time! Things have been going very well here at the Weeks household. Both girls are doing well. Our only problem has been how busy we’ve been. We have ballet, gymnastics, karate, and physical therapy going on all week and it’s crazy! We are a little over extended and I did adjust the schedule for after the new year, but it was hard to say no when Cecylia wanted to do so much. She seems to have boundless energy and I think she is just trying to make up for last year.

We had a wonderful Christmas celebrating with our entire family. Our family all lives close, so we had a marathon of stops to make, but it was great spending time with everyone. This girls loved every minute of it, they love their family so much!

Jeff and I are excited to be planning a basketball game to raise money for pediatric cancer research. Jeff is friends with the coach from Bloomfield Hills High School (which happens to be the school district in which I teach) and he has helped us to take over one of their games and raise funds for CureSearch. We are so excited to be giving back. We are also on the committee to help organize the CureSearch Walk in September. Between these things, the girls’ activities, and working full time you can see why I haven’t been on here much. Half the time, Jeff finds me sleeping in one of the girls beds because I fell sleep putting them to sleep. It feels good to be busy in this way. When I look back to last year we were busy with doctor appointments, hospital stays, and other junky experiences.

I have a lot of feelings that I haven’t shared on this site in a while and I think that’s because they’re just too complicated to get into. I am really doing fine, but pediatric cancer really changes who you are as a parent. I worry about it coming back all the time, I worry about how this experience may have affected the girls emotionally, I worry that I bring up pediatric cancer in conversations too much, I worry a lot. As much as this blog has been a place for me to vent, share, and release me feelings, lately I just can’t get into my feelings because (at the end of the day) I kind of don’t want to think about them anymore. I’ve continued to post pics and updates on the Facebook page, but I feel a little guilty for anyone that’s been following along on here and hasn’t heard anything in awhile. I know many people continue to pray for Cecylia and I am so thankful for that! So thank you, please keep praying that her “mean cells stay away” and I will try to get on here a little more often to share news about how well she and her sister are doing.

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Cecylia had her six month off treatment scans on Wednesday (10/23) and we got the results the next day (yesterday). Praise God, she continues to be cancer free! It was an extremely nerve racking experience. Every time we go through scans, it’s like a whole new experience. I’m always nervous to get the results, so that’s the same. But, how I feel after I get the results has differed the last three times. The first scans were when she just finished treatment, then the three month scans in July, and now the six months scans. The first time, I was really scared for Cecylia to be off chemo, it had become this kind of safety net with which I knew she was safe from cancer. Chemo was awful and I was happy I could stop putting poison into my child, but it was also keeping her safe. For the three month scans, I was incredibly excited and optimistic. I felt like I was on top of the world – like I couldn’t get any higher. This time I was so emotionally drained. It was a little similar to the first scans, but I wasn’t really feeling scared as much as I was left feeling… Well, I can’t name this emotion. Of course, I’m beyond happy, and I’m definitely focusing on the present (as in, I’m not worrying about the nine month scans – yet), but this time the anxiety didn’t wash away quite as quickly. The nervousness and exhaustion aren’t completely gone. They are fading as I let the happiness take over. I guess the stress has just wiped me out.

Cecylia and Ainsley were so happy to hear the news! Cecylia literally started to dance and I know that Ainsley was happy to hear the news as well. It’s so nice that they don’t really understand the gravity of scans, yet. They understand that the CT scan takes a picture to make sure that her cancer hasn’t come back, but they haven’t realized that they’re supposed to be nervous as they await the results. I’m happy that they don’t feel this way and that we don’t let on that we are feeling that way either. That’s probably the hardest and easiest part. Keeping on a mask so that they don’t know how upset I am at scan time is hard. But, during scans, the only time I can truly let go of all the fear and just enjoy the moment is when I’m with the girls. Now that scans are over, I’m going to let the anxiety continue to fade and get back to enjoying our life again without having to put on a mask.

Thank you to all that continue to follow our journey and pray for Cecylia to remain forever cancer free!

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Friday, October 11, 2013

So earlier this evening I was driving to the store with Cecylia and Ainsley. We were talking about some fun Halloween plans we have and how one of those plans was a party with some other pediatric cancer survivors/patients. She told me how she knew that I felt bad for all those kids but I felt the worst for her because she’s my baby. She then asked me if I wanted her to tell me what cancer felt like. I said yes and asked her what it felt like. She told me, “Cancer feels like you’re dying. Cancer feels like you’re never going to be alive again.” Wow! Later, I asked her what chemo felt like and she said it felt like all the blood was out of her body. And she told me that radiation felt like she was never going to see her mommy again. I’m glad she can express herself, but always so sad she had to go through all of this.

So, finally, I asked her how she feels now and she said, “Great!”

Don’t have much to add, I think I will let this special four year old’s words speak for themselves.

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