Suddenly Bianca said "I have bugs in my tummy"
Sanna: "but you don't have a tummy bug"
Bianca: "well, actually I have bugs in my whole body"
Bianca made a fist and "hit" her tummy.
Sanna: "Why are you doing that?"
Bianca: "I'm hitting the bugs"
Sanna: "You don't have to do that, you get special medicine for the bugs"
Bianca: "I'll do it just in case"
Sometimes I do wonder what goes through Bianca's mind. She knows she is sick. It would be unfair if we did not tell her that. But I do wonder when she notices other children with their seemingly carefree childhood. She is only 4 but had to learn to take her medicines every single day, that we need to set the alarm for 2 hours after supper and that during that time she cannot eat anything, she had to learn to swallow tablets, we have to remind her not to give kisses straight after getting her chemo tablets, she knows that going out somewhere depends on her levels and that if they are low we won't be going anywhere, she knows to avoid other kids when they have runny noses or coughs and she knows it will be a long time still before she is able to tie up her hair again. Not many other 4 year olds will ask if they are well enough to go to the shop with Mommy and then when we are in the car will ask "do I have to stay in the car?" and then when I say that it is okay to come with me, her little face lights up with excitement.
Bianca is one tough 4 year old, she doesn't ever let this get her down. She just keeps going, smiling and enjoying every day no matter what it brings.
I found a link to a very special song that pretty much describes the journey that kids like Bianca walk. Click here to listen to it.
We will never know why we were chosen to walk this road, maybe because we were strong enough, or perhaps weren't strong enough, but had to learn to become strong enough, or perhaps we had to learn to slow down and appreciate the things we tend to take for granted. It doesn't matter why we were chosen to walk this road. We feel blessed that Bianca is able to be an inspiration to others, we feel blessed that we are able to learn from her and we feel blessed that we have this opportunity to make a difference.
This week is the annual appeal for The Child Cancer Foundation. This is a much-needed fundraising for them and without these funds they won't be able to help kids like Bianca fight cancer. They do such an important job and yet get no funding. They walk this road every single day with us and will still long after we completed treatment, they are our voice when we have concerns, they are there for us if we want to talk (or not), if we are looking for information or advice, or need help to meet with a prospective school to work on a strategy, they help with meal vouchers and petrol vouchers, opportunities for us to meet other parents, or make it possible for us to do normal things that would be impossible to afford or make happen because of circumstances.
Before Bianca got sick I never realised that very few things are as lonely and isolated as cancer, I never realised the effect childhood cancer can have on a family unit, I never realised how very long the treatment can be and without the Child Cancer Foundation this would have been much much harder to deal with. So please look out for the street collectors or purchase one of the specially designed t-shirts at the JK Kids Stores or buy a special bead on a bracelet to support this very important organisation.