As Kenda mentioned last week, on Tuesday we sat down with Dr. B to discuss what the next year will hold for Lucy and her ongoing treatment. Will there be 12 more months of ‘maintenance’ treatment or are we approaching the end of her scheduled chemo? While we haven’t reached a definitive decision (sorry for the teaser) the meeting itself was a good opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come since her diagnosis. In some ways the year has flown by and in others, it’s dragged on forever, but regardless it’s still hard to believe that we are nearing the end of her 46 week protocol when every step of the way still seems so fresh in our minds.
And 40+ weeks in, we are exactly where we want to be – in remission with an otherwise normal toddler running around our house. The pause to reconcile how far we’ve come since the first day even brought a tear to Dr. B’s eye and sparked an impromptu group hug.
Later that night however we got to see the flip side of the battle against this disease. A few weeks ago, a young boy named Jack Pimmel had been diagnosed with AML at just 3 weeks and was being treated at Children’s Hospital. With a disease as rare as infant leukemia, Kenda and I had developed a bond quickly with his parents, Joe and Kelly. At such a young age, Jack has been suffering through a variety of complications that came from both the disease and the chemo intended to fight it. Last night they posted on their Caring Bridge site that Jack had gained his angel wings at 8:08 surrounded by his family.
Joe’s post eloquently asked all of us to take nothing for granted when it comes to something as sacred as your children. It’s a lesson we learned under less than ideal circumstances in August 2013, but also one that we need constant reminding of.
Even despite the challenges that have been handed to our family and to Lucy, Jack’s story helped us remember that, as of right now, we’re one of the lucky ones. We unfortunately never got a chance to meet Jack, but that makes it no easier to come to terms with their loss. As crystal clear as my memory of Lucy’s struggle to survive on Day 1 remain, it’s still hard to fathom what Joe and Kelly are going through.
With that in mind, we would ask everyone to send your prayers today to the Pimmel family.