Finding the Joy
August 25th, 2011 by Erin Chance
I have started this update several times, but the words keep failing me. I want to find an eloquent way to tell you and myself that everything is wonderful and that Patrick’s cancer is cured. Unfortunately, the truth is that the scans yesterday were not good no matter how positively you try to look at them. This was not a surprise, but it was still painful. Patrick has extensive disease in his shoulders, arms, spine, and legs. Amazingly and in keeping with his character, he has not complained one time of pain, which is unbelievable when you look at those scans.
I had an extremely tough conversation with Dr. Katzenstein, and we are basically down to two options for Patrick. We can go to Philly next week and do MIBG again or we can choose not to treat him anymore. When I look at this happy, energetic boy full of dry humor, it is hard for me to believe that we are in this position. While we are not naive about the reality of our situation, we are not ready to give up on Patrick yet. Another round or even two of MIBG could provide him and us with extended quality of life. He deserves to enjoy himself as much as possible and we deserve to enjoy him a little longer. We didn’t make this decision lightly and we won’t be selfish about our needs versus his quality of life, but we do feel like this is the best choice for everyone. As you can imagine, it is impossibly difficult to have these conversations and make these decisions about one of the people you love most in the whole world.
I was reminded while writing this of a post by another cancer mom when her daughter was given 4-12 weeks to live: “There is probably someone in your family right now—spouse, sibling, child, parent, etc.—who is driving you crazy for whatever reason. I urge you to just give it up and LOVE THAT PERSON UNCONDITONALLY like Jesus loves us. If you knew that they were about to die, would what you are mad or irritated about really matter? Probably not. So get over petty and focus on what is most important– LOVING each other.”
As we face the hardest time of our lives, we will continue to focus on loving each other and maximizing our joy as a family. Even in the midst of sorrow, there is so much joy to be had if you open your heart to it. Along with the difficult posts that we will be forced to make, I look forward to reports of happy times, love, and laughter at the Chance house. Again, we Press On.