My mother-in-law continues her battle with leukemia. But the good news is - she is home from the hospital! Her white cell count is up and there are no signs of cancerous cells at the moment. She is still very weak and not eating really well, but that is to be expected. And she will be back in the hospital in two or three weeks to begin her second round of chemotherapy. With at least a couple more rounds after that. So still a long way to go.
As many of you know, my wife is at their home now helping out in any way possible. And we've sent care packages, cards, etc. But we wanted to do something just to remind ourselves and others that we are thinking about her and supporting her every day.
So we made a donation to the American Cancer Society which allowed us to get a 5-pack of wrist bands. They don't have a band specific to leukemia, so we chose the red band shown below:
The Chinese characters are for Courage, Hope, and Strength.
And right before my wife left to go to their house this week, we took a photo of our whole family wearing the bracelets so my mother-in-law could see that we were thinking of her every day:
As we gathered for the quick photo, Son19 commented that the pose looked like the old Captain Planet cartoon - "By your powers combined, I am Captain Planet!"
We thought it was a pretty funny comment, but I also realized it was a perfect caption for the photo and the perfect summary of our efforts to battle cancer.
When I think about the impact of cancer on our family, it is a bit frightening. My mother-in-law is undergoing her current battle. My mom went through radiation for breast cancer a few years ago, and fortunately is still cancer-free. My wife's dad passed away from a brain tumor while she was in college. Her grandmother passed away with cancer just a few years ago. One of my co-workers and friends, Mary, went through treatment for breast cancer only a couple of years ago. And my good friend and co-worker, Mike, just went through radiation treatment for prostate cancer this summer. You can read his blog of his treatment here.
And it's not just our family. I recently went back and read all the postings from radioactive girl about her diagnosis and treatment and was very moved by her writings.
None of us, alone, can do much about cancer, other than support our loved ones. But by our powers combined, perhaps one day, we will conquer this disease that hurts so many.