I’ve been talking about Childhood Cancer Awareness Month every September since Landon was diagnosed in 2008. This is our 6th CCAM.
And amazing things are happening.
The word is getting out that this is important. People are noticing and paying attention. Maybe they always have been, but I haven’t really noticed it until today.
Today I was tagged in a Facebook post by a friend. I figured one of my kiddos were in a picture and they tagged me so I’d see it. Instead it was a video on another woman’s page, a stranger to me. I didn’t have the opportunity to watch the video at that time and I wondered what that was all about. Strange.
In the meantime, I was tagged in another friend’s picture. Two taggings in one day is very strange for me. My friend Lori had posted a picture of herself with her face covered in whipped cream! She participated in a challenge called Whipping Childhood Cancer 46/7. Why 46/7? Because 46 kids are diagnosed with cancer every single day and 7 more die. Every day. From cancer. I think the 46/7 notation is genius.
Anyway, later I was able to finally watch the video that had been bugging me for hours. In it, Heather, a lady I had never met, was talking about having shaved her head for St. Baldrick’s. I don’t know a single person who has done this so this fascinated me. This is a woman about my age who voluntarily shaved her head to raise money and awareness for children with cancer. Whoa. That’s big.
Not only was she talking about when she shaved her head, but another lady Audrey is planning to shave hers here in town this month! Pediatric Cancer Awareness in my little town? That’s bonkers! Small town that it is, Audrey’s son and Landon are friends!
I usually get down in September. I start seeing the Breast Cancer Awareness pink ribbons everywhere and actually have the nerve to be resentful of their successful awareness and fundraising campaign. I know that’s wrong; that the light of one candle can never dim another. And yet I still want to scream for them to wait their turn and focus on the kids this month. I know, cancer doesn’t wait for a specific month to hurt people. Landon was diagnosed in August; didn’t his cancer know that Childhood Cancer Awareness isn’t supposed to start until September?
This year, though, I’ve had a different attitude. I’ve done my little social media postings and just been happy to be heard. Every little thumbs up or Like on Facebook or Instagram has been like a little validation that my lone whispers in the dark have been heard. And now I’m seeing these women shout from the hilltops and I am so humbled and inspired.
We sometimes almost forget what Landon has been through. As much as it bugs my mom, I’m going to tell you my analogy for how we feel about Landon’s battle.
Remember when we were all into Harry Potter? We read the books, saw the movies, wore the tshirts, and bought wands for our kids. The whole world was talking about Harry Potter! But it wasn’t real. It didn’t really happen to us. And it’s over. That’s how I sometimes feel about Landon’s illness. It wasn’t real; it didn’t really happen to him; we were just really involved in a work of fiction.
Until Childhood Cancer really is just fiction, though, I am grateful for people who are making a stand for children like mine, the 46 that were diagnosed today, the 46 that will be diagnosed tomorrow, and all the rest of them.
I know that y’all don’t come here to read what I’m thinking about today. I know y’all want to hear updates on Landon.
He is awesome.
Landon is in fifth grade this year, making great grades and amazing friends. I’ve updated the pictures page so you can see how much he’s grown. You won’t believe it!
His health is an amazing blessing. We often say that Landon’s only long-term side effect of his treatment is that he is utterly spoiled, but all of our children are. Who can blame us?
This year he played baseball again after taking a hiatus. He joined 4H and raised his first pigs! Right now he has a steer named Sloppy Joe and Landon gets up to take care of him every single day.
His goals and dreams for the future change often, but usually flip back and forth between oncologist and priest. I can’t complain about either of those goals, can I? He does always say he wants to be one thing when he grows up, though: happy. I think that’s an awesome goal.