Sunday, January 14, 2007

By our powers combined...

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.

28 comments:

Baron Ectar said...

Count me in on your team EM! I am off to get some wristbands myself - Good luck to your mother in law and I know you are a great source of comfort for not only her but your wife as well.

mar said...

Good luck to your MIL and thanks for visiting my blog :)

kenju said...

From your mouth to God's ear, Em. We have escaped it in our immediate families, at least lately, but now my son's MIL has breast cancer, and a very fast and deadly type. I will keep good thoughts about your MIL and hope that she remains cancer free.

Michele sent me.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Tell her to keep up the good fight! I'll say a little prayer for your family.

Echo said...

Hi Em, I found your blog through a good friend of mine and see that you are a regular "neighbor." I just wanted to commend you and your family for the love and support you have for the health of your mother-in-law. Thanks for sharing your story.

bardouble29 said...

Em, you and your family are in my thoughts. Reading your blog brought the tears to my eyes. I too went through the battle with my father who passed from lymphoma. I always say "may I be as strong and as stubborn as him when my time comes."

Melody said...

I really like the photo and I'm sure your mother-in-law will appreciate the gesture. I know I would. Hope all is well.

Teena said...

The bands and support for your MIL is awesome!

My mother passed away in November from cancer. It can touch anyone :(

Beth said...

I am sorry about you MIL, but let me tell ya, your attitude can make all the difference. my grandmother died from lung cancer, at home, and it wasn't pretty, but with the right attitude anything can happen.

I loved Captain Planet! So did my boys and they had all the action figures and rings when they were little.

Rose said...

I will continue to keep your mother in law in my prayers. My children have some of those bracelets.

Peri said...

Hi, what a great post -my mother lost her battle at age 23. My Dad said she was the bravest person he ever knew. She was one of the persons that paved the way in the 60s by trying new treatments.

Jill said...

I'm sending all my good energy to your MIL. Hope everything continues to go well.

Love the picture! My first thought was a "Wonder Twins" quote, but I guess five don't make twins. :)

radioactive girl said...

Cancer stinks, BUT the good part is it reminds us of how many people we have rooting for us. My family wears the thyroid cancer wristbands, and it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside whenever I see anyone wearing it. It may seem like a wristband isn't much, but I bet to her it means the world!

Attila The Mom said...

What a really fabulous idea! I love the picture with your bracelets.

I'm glad to read that your MIL is doing a bit better. I'm sending all my most healing thoughts to her and your family.

Chelle said...

I think somehow, cancer touches everyone in some way. I've lost grandparents to cancer and just this past july, we lost a good friend. I will continue to keep your MIL (and your family) in my thoughts. I hope she continues to heal :)

Rene said...

What a wonderful gesture for your MIL. My family is the heart disease family. My grandmother had lung cancer, but that wasn't what killed her...it was her heart. I've had a few friends with breast cancer and so far they have all beat it. I think there is so much hope for cancer patients these days, it isn't the automatic rending of garments, gnashing of teeth diagnosis it once was.

Kati said...

isMy MIL's chosen ribbon color is Pink, in honor of HER sister who's a breast cancer survivor (though, really, since it's only been 3 years technically she's a survivor in waiting, not a full-out survivor yet). And, because of the MIL, pink is the band we most often buy. However, if I knew there was a band for stem-cell research funding, I'd be all for stocking up on those. One of my aunts died of Juv. Diabetis, and one of my grandma's died with (though not of) Parkinson's. Both of which are potentially curable through stem-cell research.

Anyway, awesome way to raise awareness for the cause!!!! Not to mention make the MIL feel better knowing that she's got you & her grands rooting for her success in beating this disease.

Sheila said...

That is so cool! Wonder Twin powers activate! hahaha Glad your mother-in-law is doing better.

Mustang said...

Keep the faith mate.. God watches keenly from up above.

Cheers to fast recovery of your mother in law.
D

Mommy off the Record said...

Cancer is so scary and so pervasive. It touches almost every family, but how difficult it is to have such close family members struggling with it. I hope your MIL is successful with her treatment. My best to you and your family.

Dorky Dad said...

I will say a prayer for you and your family. And I'm glad to hear that your MIL is home from the hospital.

Helen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Helen said...

It's sad that so many people we know and love get cancer. A girl in my local area got cancer at the age of 16, and through her treatment lost her hair. The whole of her year at school then shaved their heads, too, so that she did not feel as if she stuck out from the crowd. I thought that was quite a sweet thing for them to do, really.
Sorry I deleted my last comment (above), but the tying of my word verifictaion somehow got into the comment box.

creative-type dad said...

My grandmother lost her battle with it sometime ago. The upside was the family reuniting and getting closer than ever before.

Carmi said...

Leukemia runs rampant through my family, so I know all too well what you're going through now. You are all in my prayers.

Your MIL is lucky to have such a wonderfully supportive family. I like you more and more every time I come back for a visit.

velvet girl said...

My thoughts go out to you and your entire family. I'm sure all your loving support means a lot to your MIL.

-velvet

Jessica said...

I found myself in a similar situation and found Team in Training. This will be my father's 3rd year of remission from CLL and our second marathon together. I am grateful to God and to medicine.

My Mother in Law begins chemo shortly as she was just diagnosed with a very aggressive Lymphoma.

I run because I can and because (like your bracelets) it gives me the sense that I'm accomplishing something. It also surrounds me with people who have similar goals once a week.

It's cheaper than therapy and it gets your body, mind and spirit in good shape too.

When I train I will think of your family.

If ever you run too, send me a link and I'll donate to LLS to honor your efforts.

Em said...

So many wonderful supporters! You guys are awesome. Thank you for your comments, your encouragement, and your offers of support!!