Today, my friend Chelle Arends is guest blogging. Both of our children are being treated for ALL leukemia at the University of Chicago, which is where we met -- sitting in the pediatric treatment room while Atia and Coleson, her son, received chemo. We developed a fast friendship and I think she's a really special woman. I admire her positive outlook, her cheerful demeanor and her unwavering faith. She always gives thanks for the simple gifts in life and below she shares a story about one such extraordinary day.
The day our kids found 14 four leaf clovers in our backyard is a day we will never forget. Some people try to rationalize it and speak of a sort of clover mutation but in our hearts we know it is our good luck sign and a symbol of good times that are sure to lie ahead for us.
We live in Naperville with 3 kids 8,7 and 5. We have had a tough year and a half. Our 5 year old Coleson was diagnosed with Leukemia in August 2008 when he was 3 (almost 4). The prognosis is good with a cure rate for this cancer of 80 - 90% but the treatment protocol is a little over 3 years with the first 9 months of intense chemo treatments.
Coleson is in the maintenance phase of treatment where he receives chemo by pill everyday including a long list of other meds daily and a once a month visit to the hospital for chemo treatment through his port. Our family has been put through the ringer and watching a child fight this awful disease is not anything we would wish on anyone.
I took a leave when he was first diagnosed to care for him and take him to the hospital for treatments and then returned to work for a couple of months when my employer fired me from my professional job because I could not perform my duties while Coleson was in and out of the hospital receiving blood transfusions and iv antibiotics when his blood counts were so low...financially we have struggled and made many adjustments to say the least but with a long road still ahead (Coleson's treatment will end December 2011).
Our priorities have been laid out for us....we are doing our best to care for our son.
During this time we have received so many blessings and amazing support from friends, neighbors, family and even strangers that we are overwhelmed by the kindness that we have seen in humanity. As we ride our roller coaster, I wanted to share one of the blessings and just odd happenings that happened to us in April.
It was a normal Sunday and the kids were playing outside in our backyard when our 8 year old Halle came running in with Coleson who was yelling "I found a 4 leaf clover." YEA! I took it like a good Mom and taped it to a post it note and put his name on it and the date...as the door slammed behind them there was another scream from Caden.."MOM! I found one too." He brought it in and I did the same...Then Halle and Coleson were yelling again..."Another ONE."
This lasted about an hour as they stopped their playing and all sat on the ground looking for "another one." In all they found 14 four leaf clovers that Sunday afternoon. 14! What a fun day that was as they were just kids...looking in the grass like normal kids and basking in the joy of the lucky four leaf clover's they kept finding.
To me..we aren't irish (well I guess my Aunt Minnie says we have "some" Irish) but we have had so many tears and scary times this last year that just that afternoon we had another one of those blessings...The luck of the Irish and a yard full of four leaf clovers.
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