Sunday, April 20, 2014
It is Easter Sunday 4/20/14. Did you know that every 40 minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer? Scott and I attended the wine auction on April 5th for Camp Goodtimes. It is the biggest fundraiser for camp. $191,000 was brought in. That is the gross amount and I’m not sure what the net will be. Many of the people have been coming for years. They truly have a passion for camp. This year was a really big deal since the American Cancer Society dropped funding for all of its pediatric camps. We spent Friday night in Seattle so we could just chill and go to the Washington Athletic Club early on Saturday and help set up. Richard and Bee joined us there too. My friend Julyn and her two beautiful daughters volunteered that night. While we were eating dinner and listening to the speaker Scott had a drip land on his arm. It happened a couple of times. I don’t know where the drip came from or what it was but he said it was a tear from Kathryn. During the speakers there were some slides of Katie. She is a young lady from camp who is terminal. I had to get up and leave. It just hit me wrong and I became very upset. I guess I just can’t stand thinking of another child dying from this shitty disease. The doctor (Dr. Olson) who spoke was amazing. I personally went over to him and thanked him for the work he does. He researches other ways to treat cancer like t-cell therapy. He knew Kathryn. He had seen her scans. He actually met her at camp so he knew her as Panda too. Scott and Richard both thanked him on their own as well. I also found out that the Barry’s who I had met at the grapevine earlier had also lost a daughter. She died in an accident. She was about 20. But as we discussed it, it doesn’t matter how you lose your child it is still a tragedy. And it never goes away. The people I sat next to are from Vashon Island, Doug and Erin. They have the Kayak Center. They have donated time and the use of their Kayaks to camp for a few years now. Doug had a bad form of cancer that affected his tissue. He understands what the children go through and really wants to help. He also told me about Dr. Chopp. I said I had talked to him. When I was researching different treatment options for Kathryn he was one of the doctors with a new idea for GBM. He is still working on it and getting a trial going. He also has moved to Seattle. When I talked to him he was back East. It was a great night! Yes, we spent way too much money but it was for a great cause. While on a walk, Scott felt another tear. No clouds, no rain but another drop on his arm. He also found 4 pennies all in one spot. He had gotten out of his van and went to the door of his worker’s house. He talked with the girlfriend of his worker and she thanked him for employing her boyfriend and how much it helps them. She actually said, “God bless you.” When he returned to his van, there were the four pennies. Pennies from heaven! During my spring break I was working at my Mom’s house. A lady drove by and asked about the house since there was a” for rent or for sale sign “ out front. As we talked I must have asked her what she did for work. She was in scrubs. She is a shower lady. The one who comes to your house and gives you a shower by either helping you into the shower or bathes you in bed. I told her that she is doing a wonderful thing. I explained how much we appreciated the shower lady for my Dad and for Kathryn. We talked about how a shower makes you feel so good. I told her about Kathryn taking that first bath after coming home from the ICU and having me shave her legs. How she was in heaven having her legs feel silky smooth and soft again. I also talked to my Mom’s neighbor. She is a very cool lady who helps so many people. She runs a program to help women who get out of prison get back into the real world. They need that you know. You can’t take a person and just throw them out into the world with no connections to find work or a place to stay. I had a nice long talk with her about what I might do with my future. She encouraged me to do something I have been a little unsure of. She said I would be great at it. So, I might just go for it! I recently had a dream about Richard. He was sobbing and curled up in my dream. He was crying and saying, “Why her? Why her?” He was talking about Kathryn. Why did she die? Why was it her? He was truly upset in my dream. I hope he is ok. It is hard to tell with some people. You never know the depth of their pain We went to the last camp planning meeting. I had to picked up 30 mailboxes at McClendins. Scott and I took them to the meeting. They are for a project for each cabin. It should be a great week. We are encouraging writing notes to each other and each cabin through the week. As a staff member I will make sure I write to kids that I know are not getting mail and such. Little cards that acknowledge each child. Gypsy also informed me that she sold over $250 in Panda t-shirts. I had given her a box of them at the last meeting. Go Gypsy! April 10th was Scott’s birthday. Richard sent a card that was a reminder of the past. About 10 years ago. It is still funny to this day. He wrote a beautiful message in it about how Kathryn would be proud of the work Scott is doing for camp. It brought tears to both of us. I saw a cute story about a basketball player Adreian Payne and a tiny little girl Princess Lacey Holsworth. I don’t remember how they became friends but this huge black man has this little 8 year old girl as his best friend. She goes to all of his games that she can and he visits her in the hospital. It is an amazing connection. Lacey died on April 8th. Here is the story EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An 8-year-old Michigan State basketball fan whose battle with cancer inspired the team's players, coaches and many more beyond the hardwood was honored by thousands of her closest friends at a memorial service in East Lansing. Lacey Holsworth's family wanted those attending the event Thursday night at the Breslin Center basketball arena to wear bright colors and smiles in celebration of her life. And, many did. Many also wiped away tears, especially when they heard Heather Holsworth's recorded message about her daughter while her pictures were shown on video boards. "I can't wait to see you again, save a dance for me," she said at the end of a composed, recorded message. Lacey died at her home in nearby St. Johns on April 8. The little girl affectionately known as "Princess Lacey" had neuroblastoma, a nerve-cell cancer. She wore a blond wig because chemotherapy took her hair. Lacey met Michigan State basketball star Adreian Payne during one of her hospital stays, and their friendship quickly blossomed. She became a valued member of the Spartan family. Payne, perhaps because he thought he would be too emotional to speak, was not scheduled to address the crowd at the celebration. Travis Trice, a junior guard, represented the team on a raised stage in front of nearly 1,000 chairs — most of them filled — on the covered court and perhaps 2,000 more people seated in the lower section of the arena. "Her smile would change your day and have an impact on you," Trice said. Truly an amazing story. While I was working out in my yard a lady came to the bottom of the driveway with a stroller and two small children in it. I started talking to her not realizing at first who she was. She is my neighbor’s mother and the two children are her grandchildren. She was out here from South Carolina watching the grandchildren because her daughter was asked to be in a fitness video. So, she was helping Adam with the kids so he could go to work. As we talked she said something about the little flowers (primroses). She asked if I just planted them. I said I was given them over two years ago by the neighbors when Kathryn died. They aren’t supposed to come back each year but they have. She asked about Kathryn’s cancer. Her Dad died of a GBM just like Kathryn. She also knew of a survivor. He was treated by the same doctor I contacted at Duke University, Dr. Henry Friedman. She said this man lived at Duke for over two years while getting treatment. She said she is still mad at God for taking her Dad and her brother at the age of 15. She went on the say that there are so many horrible people who get to live and live long. Why, would a beautiful person like her brother, father or Kathryn be taken and those horrible people get to live? All I could think of is, “This is Hell on Earth.” We have all heard that saying but heaven will be so wonderful. People who are taken early, maybe they are the lucky ones and we are left here living in hell. That’s all I could think of. Kathryn is in a better place. A place of peace, love and happiness. I know I hurt and everyone who misses her hurts but she is safe from pain. I went to a friend’s birthday party at the Swiss in downtown Tacoma. It was a lot of fun. But what was great about it, I saw Cody. Cody was Kathryn’s best friend forever. I haven’t seen him since Kathryn passed. I know it was hard on him and he took a nose dive in the game of life but he seemed happy. It was good to see him and get that great big, tight, long, hug from him. He has avoided our house since Kathryn passed. He was invited to her two birthday celebrations and we thought he was going to make the second one but he just couldn’t do it. There are a lot of memories here in our house for him. So many parties since they were 5 or 6. So many good times that they had. So many times we told Cody to be quiet and go to sleep. All good memories. But Cody promised to see me this summer and dance with me then. This should be at our house. I also asked my principal how his Mom is doing. She still is not doing well. They do have a therapist coming to the house a couple of times each week. I don’t think she has left the house yet. I offered to talk to her if she would be willing to talk to me. Talking about Kathryn helps me. He said that his Mom will take a step forward and then two steps back. There are those good days and those bad days for me too. Today is a young lady’s birthday (Sarah). She passed away from Ewings Sarcoma not too long before Kathryn passed away. She was a bit younger too. Her Mom has become an internet friend. She made a comment about my work with Camp Goodtimes and how she hopes to be a strong as me someday. I told her to ask her Sarah for help. She will give her strength. I know that Kathryn helps me and gives me strength. I couldn’t do what I do without her help. In Dear Abby today a woman wrote about the month of February. Her mother died in February and her mother’s birthday was also in February. I thought about how I felt in February. Not so good! But I also have Richard’s birthday in February to cheer me. This woman wrote about how hard mother’s day will be for her without her mother here. Many things are hard but you can’t resent or hold it against others who have what you wish you had. I see Kathryn’s friend’s having boyfriends and getting engaged. I see my friends with grandchildren or doing special things with their daughters. I don’t resent their joy. Richard is so good at recognizing special days for me and sharing his life with me that I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. Scott is good at making me feel special. I have a wonderful life as it is. I have many special memories of times with Kathryn and I cherish those memories. But I would never resent some ones joy they have that I can’t have because Kathryn is not here. I’m so lucky to have thoughtful people in my life. A couple of last minute thoughts. Did you know that every 8 minutes a young adult 18-35 is diagnosed with cancer. And finally, Today is Easter. It is not about the Easter Bunny! It is about love and forgiveness so we can have eternal life. For that I give thanks. Thanks to Jesus for giving his life so that we could all have eternal life. I will see Kathryn one day again in a wonderful place called heaven. Enjoy your day and family.