Understanding

imageBen made it through his first round of Hu3f8 in New York. The first day was pure hell because they gave him a little too much dilaudid (painkiller) and had to back that off which sent him into complete agony. If you want to know how PTSD is triggered, go do this treatment with a child a few times and you’ll understand. It was horrible, mostly for Ben, but bad enough as his father having to watch him go through it.

It’s pretty well known by most folks we know that Ben has been in near-constant treatment for 11 years.

Think about that for a second or two.

11 years is a long time. Ben is turning 14 this year.

In 2004 the following events took place:

  • Casey Kasem turned over his hosting duties to Ryan Seacrest
  • Janet Jackson had a wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl
  • The New England Patriots won the Super Bowl
  • Ken Jennings finally lost on Jeopardy
  • Google introduced Gmail (on April fool’s day)
  • President Ronald Reagan was buried
  • The siege of Fallujah (Iraq) took place
  • K-Mart bought Sears-Roebuck and Co.
  • There were quite a lot more things happening during that year. None, however, had an impact on our family as great as our son being diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. Most of you know that story but how many really know what it’s like to have a critically ill child and have them go through almost-constant treatment for 11 years?

    Fast forward to 2015. Ben is back in treatment in New York, which causes so many disruptions to all our lives it’s hard to sometimes even think about.

  • Constant travel between Colorado and New York is a financial hardship, even with some help.
  • We have to juggle our work schedules to make sure someone is actually making money.
  • Our daughter gets the privilege of being shuffled back and forth between different friends.
  • Little things, like home and car repairs, get left undone as we have to spend money for treatment related things.
  • The secondary effects of Ben’s treatment, like severe scoliosis, are starting to affect the quality of his life.
  • The list goes on…

    While my list is personal and nowhere as popular as Tom Brady winning the Super Bowl, I can guarantee you that it’s 100x more important. I have nothing against Tom Brady (ok, I don’t like the Patriots) ask any parent with a child going through cancer treatment and they’ll tell you that all of the events listed above (and the many more that occurred that year) that none compares.

    As a family we’re tired and in a near constant state of stress. The past 11 years have not been easy. Nor have they all been fun.

    As you reflect on the past 11 years of your own life I ask that you thing about how many things have happened and then do two things:

  • Pray a prayer of thanks for the good things that have happened as well as the bad in your own life.
  • Understand that when when a parent (us included) asks for help while their child goes through cancer treatment, they really need help.
  • I know all of these trials are light and momentary (2 Corinthians 4:17) but knowing that sure doesn’t mean that they aren’t hard on the soul.

    Matt

    2 Replies to “Understanding”

    1. I met Sarah through BSF in Columbus many years ago when Ben was first in remission. Since then, I have followed his blogs and Facebook page. I have been praying for Ben and your family since then and will continue to do so. My heart goes out to you all. 1 Corinthians 4:17 is a good verse to cling to even though it is hard to fully grasp this side of eternity. God rewards those who keep the faith through hardships. May He bless you all, provide you everything that you need and give you the peace that passes understanding.

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