- Squirrel Tales becomes a "How To" guide .
- When your 3½-year-old squeezes your fingertips to check for "low blood;" then pats you telling you it will be alright and to hold still.
- When your 3½-year-old is happy to see blood returns on the broviach during blood draws and flushings and squeels, "Yeah blood!" knowing blood returns mean no blocked lines.
- You see someone with long hair you think, "A few kids could have nice wigs!!"
- You cry at the thought of finally finishing chemo because you and your CK have become so close to the nurses and won't be seeing them every 3 weeks now!
- Your 3-year-old makes the nurse change the bedding because she spilled Betadine and it looks like dried blood.
- You're 9½ months pregnant with your second child and your're so happy you just have to go one floor from chemo to delivery (and then can't wait to get back down with your 3-year-old after delivery).
- When you've just made 20 copies of this list to distribute to the other parents on the cancer floor.
- You're super happy that the whole family comes to celebrate your daughter's 3rd birthday while on chemo + morphine
- The now 3-month-old brother has more hair than his 3 year old sister.
- Your 3-year-old is so happy to be admitted for chemo because her counts are good enough for her to play in the peds playroom
- You take so much clothes expecting a lond stay (including dryer sheets and detergent in baggies) only to discover her counts are not good enough to get chemo this week
- Then once you get back home you're not sure if you should unpack all this stuff or just leave it in the closet until the next week even though everything will be wrinkled.
- Then you realize you'll be in the hospital and won't care how you look anyway
- And who are you kidding anyway? You're too tired to unpack
- Your 5-year-old has five of the exact same "Luther" teddy bears for 5 of her surgeries.
- You're ecstatic that they have a commode (potty) in the room for your child BEFORE you even get into the room.
- Your 3-year-old has her own cuff with her name on it (always in the exact same spot on the arm of the hospital bed) next to a thousand stickers. If someone accidentially takes it, she starts crying hysterically "they took my pump pump!"
- You're nervous about whether or not you put the Emla® on her too soon while she was sleeping, knowing it lasts up to only two hours before her clinic visit.
- All the Neupogen® you give her at home will expire and will need to be tossed out because you have to go back and be admitted for fever. And you don't get a refund on all these meds. Note: Please check the Neuogen web site for reimbursement information. It might apply to you
- Your 4-year-old didn't have a cough and cold upon admission for chemo; but your nurse sneezes and says that something has been going around here fow weeks. You wind up being there 2 extra weeks ...
- My 5-year-old grew two inches and is so happy her ostomy bag doesn't hit her knee anymore.
- You have to have a little potty in the back of the minivan for those emergency diarrhea attacks after and you don't care how bad the car smells,just happy your little one is relieved for a while.
- When Daddy has the direct line to your room on speed dial
- You're thankful your 5-year-old only has seven cavities from the chemo
- You can beat the night nurse to the medication pumps to turn them off the exact moment before they beep so they won't wake up your child.
- Your teenage girlwho had Ewings Sarcoma with chemo/radiation and limb salvage surgerynow places her blue elephant in the back seat (belted, of course) of her car (instead of the hospital bed) because she can finally drive
- The news that a child you have never met has earned their wings bring you to tears for hours.....goodbye Maxie
- Your family is afraid to drink anything in the house because it may belong to the CK and be "spiked" with Mira-Lax (those of you with kids on Vincristine, will know what I mean!!)
- When your son is "special student of the week" in school and he wants to bring in his broviac for his table of items he gets to bring for display. NOT many kids can do that!
- When you forget the name of your daughter's medication, but your 3-year old toddler knows.
- When four people have to hold your screaming and kicking 3-year-old daughter down so the nurse can access her port. When the nurse finishes she thanks everyone with a smile
- When your 3-year old daughter knows her weight and asks the nurses about her blood tests.
- When your 7-year old son knows how to put the IV silent and goes to the nurses' office so they can change the Chemo
- When your 8-year old daughter can do the flush on her own.
- When your 6-year old son, when he is asked by another boy that doesn't have cancer why he doesn't have hair, simply that it will grow back very soon and continues playing calmly.
- When your teenage boy eats with his cancer friends and volunteers and dinner conversation is barfing.
- When all the 5-6 year-old boys with cancer are in love with your 4-year old bald daughter, and when her hair grows back they ask her to remove it!
- When you teach the emergency nurse how to change your kid's port
- When your son, who wasn't eating for a month, has a huge bag of choclates, cookies, juices, food that he plans to eat when he finishes his treatment.
- You never have to buy Ziploc® bags again, because your daughter's weekly TPN/supply deliveries supply more than enough in all different sizes.
- Your 3-year-old son can identify the Children's Hospital LifeFlight helicopter as it flies over your house because he has seen it (from up close!) land so many times at the hospital.
- When you can get more of your work done at the hospital because you are in "more of a routine there"
- You receive junkmail at "your hospital address".
- Your "hospital clothes" become the only clothes in your closet.
- You call ahead to make sure platelets are ordered (and you know what that means)
- Your 4-year old knows how to take 18 pills a day but still can't chew gum.
- You rearrange the hospital room so it is "your normal layout"
- You know the hospital's cable channels but you don't know where the batteries are kept in your house.
- A neighbor girl asks your 4 yr old daughter, "I play soccer. What do you do?" And she answers "I do chemo."
- You know which rooms at the hospital have DVD players that don't work - and you bring your own "just in case."
- You have a love/hate relationship with kid DVD's that loop back to the beginning when they end.
- You not only have enough toys to open a toy store, but you have received enough fancy lotions, hand sanitizers and soaps to open a Bath and Body works.
- Just about everyone in your fairly large church knows your garage door code in case they need to get in to leave dinner, clean, grab laundry or mow.
- Your lawn looks better than it did when you did take care of it yourself; for that matter, it looks better than the golf course.
- Your healthy teenager starts hugging you and tells you he loves you every day because he has come to know how unpredictable life really is.
- You print up cards with your kid's Caringbridge site to hand out when you are asked for an update for the 300th time in a day. But, still you feel so blessed that so many people care enough to ask.
- You are asked to be the motivational speaker for the local blood drive.
- You know the difference between sterile and clean exam gloves.
- Your social worker tells you in the beginning to "do whatever it takes to get her through this - and deal with unspoiling her later." And you spend the rest of your life wondering "is it later yet?" (In the mean time, check out Squirrel Tales Stinky Cheese
- You get home from the hospital - and can't allow yourself the luxury of the nervous breakdown you really want to have because your kid needs you. So you have to settle for a bath.
- You learn to knit so you have something to do during chemo and stem cell transplant.
- You knit purses and slippers for the cancer patients because heaven knows they already have more than enough hats.
- You hear a story on the news about how stress impairs the immune system - and you wonder if that means you are neutrapenic too.
- You spot the inaccuracies on ER.
- Your CK spots the inaccuracies on ER.
- Your healthy kids spot the inaccuracies on ER.
- About twice a week, after observing a conversation between you and a friend, your husband feels the need to comment, "You know, she had absolutely no idea what you were talking about."
- You want to ban "the gloomy ones" from visiting the hospital unless they leave their black hoods and sickles at home.
- Your formerly straight haired blonde daughter -who now has curly brown hair wants to know why she didn't get brown eyes "this time."
- You don't need to convert deg F to Celcius - because you just know.
- Your healthy kid falls and scrapes his knee and you tell him, "You have platelets. Get over it."
- Your healthy kid has a bruise for two days and you tell him you are contemplating getting him a bone marrow biopsy.
- And a brain scan and abdominal CT.
- Your family doctor tells you to quit scaring your healthy kid.
- Your healthy kid has a fever of 103 and you tell him, "Relax. You can't have a seizure until at least 105."
- Your family doctor tells you to give the kid Tylenol and quit scaring him.
- BC and AD separate time into "Before Cancer" and "After Diagnosis"
- You have enough medical tape to make each and every one of your kids a mummy for the next seven Halloweens.
- You have enough medical tape to let your Hockey player use it for stick tape.
- Medical tape replaces duct tape and cellophane tape at your house.
- You can't walk into Target without looking at the dollar bins and thinking through your bribe stash.
- Then you fondly remember the days when your kid could be bribed with something that only cost a dollar.
- You warn your child's friends," Don't ever play doctor with her. She knows where the hypodermics are and she knows how to use'em"
- The nurse takes your kid shopping for a Mother's Day present in the supply closet.
- Your son reads "Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie" (a book about a middle schooler whose little brother is diagnosed with ALL). You ask him what he thought and he tells you, "Mom, I think the author was following me around for the past year and taking notes. My whole life is in there."
- But he notes there were a few medical inaccuracies in it.
- You don't have to worry about what or if your family at home is eating while you are at the hospital with your ck. You know that someone cooked and brought dinner to your husband and kids.
- You ask your husband what recipes you should submit to your church cookbook committee and herespectfullydoesn't remember what you used to make when you cooked.
- Your husband, though, is asked to be on the editing committee for the cookbook because he has had nearly all of the recipes prepared for him in the past year while you were at the hospital.
You Know You're the Babysitter of a Kid With Cancer ...
You Know You're a Teen With Cancer ...
|Our list has gone International!|
Your list is now spread all over Lebanon and all the parents who have kids with cancer are very glad to read it and they think that it is very true.
|That was just sooo good to read ... and at least you are making the serious things of cancer shed a little light. It is sooo real and hit back a few memories. |
I wanted to say that I started reading all these, "You Know You're a Parent ..." one night and I read every single one until 2:00am. I just couldn't stop! The thoughts of my own Kristen's adventures. I am sorry for so many of them, and I just had them all on my mind that moment. Thank you for getting to some of them for us.|
|I have to say, when Samantha was first diagnosed, there were only 200 entrees Now after three years on chemo, to see that we reached past 400 is amazing! I added this link to her site and it has brought a smile to me everytime I needed it. I am hoping it will make others feel not-so-alone in our crazy chemo world.|