Gold Is the New Pink

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  Most of you probably, blessedly, don't know that.  Its color is gold, just like breast cancer's color is pink.  For my family, every month is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  This was cemented in March 2007 when my 20 month old daughter, Donna Lu, was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor, papillary meningioma.  Donna was in treatment for thirty-one months.

The way I get to parent Donna now is by telling her story.  Every day in the month of September, I will tell Donna's cancer story in words and pictures.  September 1st will cover the first month of Donna's cancer, from diagnosis on March 23, 2007-April 22, 2007.  On September 2, the second month will be featured, April 23, 2007-May 22, 2007.  And so on and so on through the month of September.

This is a sad story, to be sure, but it is also one of hope and joy.  By following Donna's cancer story you will learn about pediatric cancer, but you will also learn about resilience and the grace and grit of an amazing little girl.  You will learn that the most ordinary of people can do extraordinary things.  You will come to understand, if you haven't already, that cancer sucks.  Lordy, cancer sucks.  I hate the bastard.

So consider yourself invited to Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Mary Tyler Mom style.  You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be one of the family.  Join me daily and keep me company.  Tell your friends and family.  Share the story.

Tomorrow:  Diagnosis

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  • Looking forward to hearing your story. Thank you for sharing with us.

  • In reply to kantal113:

    Thank you for reading and sharing. But bring you Kleenex. For reals. Cancer sucks.

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    I admire you as a parent and a person. I, too, am familiar with cancer and its absolute suckiness! I am so happy to see that you are not only keeping little Donna's spirit alive but sharing it with us! God bless you and your family and may God hold her dear in his embrace as you and yours keep her in your hearts.

  • In reply to Ashleigh Adkisson:

    Thank you, Ashleigh. I so appreciate the support. Kep reading and share if you are moved. Many thanks!

  • I am looking forward to reading about your precious girl. I am a cancer survivor and lost my mother and mother in law to the beast. I could never imagine what you went through and believe you are an amazing human being for your ability to carry on her legacy. God bless you and the memory of Donna.

  • In reply to teporama:

    Donna was amazing and teaches me to this day. Thank you for your kind words. Keep checking back and if you are moved by what you read, share it. The goal is to raise some awareness about pediatric cancer. Let's do this.

  • MTM- Thank you for sharing your story with us. My daughter went through cancer treatment, and I lost a sister to cancer when I was 12 (she was 16). So I've been in your neighborhood, driven down the block, but never went into your house. You are courage, personified. I'll bring my kleenex, but know that I am holding your cyber hand.

  • In reply to annie:

    Love this Annie!

  • In reply to annie:

    Thank you.

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    simply, thank you.

  • You are an amazing and strong woman but most importantly mother! I will go home and hug and kiss my 3 year old daughter tonight even longer than I usually do. My dream is to have a career where I fight for the cause against cancer! I have had many people in my life affected by it as well. I pray for your strength to continue strong. Maybe I will be blessed enough to meet you one day and fight this fight with you! God bless

  • In reply to graciesmomma:

    Fight it right now by sharing Donna's Cancer Story. Raising awareness is a great first step. Thank you for reading.

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    My friend, Jennifer Seuring, has shared this with me. I am sure I will need a semi trailer full of kleenex. I lost my sister to a brain tumor 26 years ago in August when she was 18 (August was the month of her birthday, and I thank God that I can remember her birth date, but not her date of death) and I was 16. I still can remember so vividly being up in Mayo clinic with her one time and how upset she got seeing the pediatric cancer patients when she, herself, was still in grade school. You are a strong, brave person and mother and I'm sure Donna is so proud of you for sharing her story to help fight the ugly cancer fight.

  • In reply to Susan Iskowich:

    We love Jennifer! I am so sorry to hear of your sister, but so grateful you remember her. Thank you, Susan.

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    I am so hoping Donna beats cancer. I am a 21 year cancer survivor this year. We just watched a family friends son lose his three year battle with cancer. All I can say is try to stay positive even when it seems like you cannot. And well if Donna wants chocolate and chips not going to hurt a thing ::grins::.

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    I lived in Arizona for a year. I stated the Pediatric Home Care for a major hospital. I cared for a little 4 year old. She had to get frequent Epogen injections. I would knock on the door and she would scream and go hide. She was beautiful. I left that house, every single time, changed in some way. The despair on her Mommy and siblings faces were unforgettable. May you continue to have the strength to tell Donna's story. Thank you.

  • In reply to Tonya Jones:

    Once you've seen it, it is always with you. Thank you for sharing, Tonya.

  • I am reading Donna's story with tears running down my cheeks. You are so brave to be sharing it with the world.

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    I'm just beginning to read/hear your plight. I am sorry for what life dealt you , Donna and your family and friends. I also am dealing with cancer myself, though I'm not a child . I would like to let you know that my g'daughter Taylor is involved with childhood cancer by making it her platform at our Iowa Pageant for Outstanding Teen/Miss Iowa. Last Mar. at the age of 16 and just before her Jr.prom she raised almost $3000 for the St Baldrick Childhood Cancer Research Foundation . She has a website Kicking it to childhood cancer. I will tell her about your blog and I'm sure she will want to talk to you.

  • In reply to Brenda Woody:

    Taylor sounds amazing. I wish her the best of luck with her efforts to raise awareness and St. Baldrick's is one of my all time favorite charities. They do the best work. Thank you for sharing, Brenda.

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    I guess I should finish my comment. Taylor had her head shaved. Yes as Clinton County's Outstanding Teen she became a shavee for St Baldrick's Foundation. She met an 8 yr old boy at her brothers school who was bald from his cancer treatment having been diagnosed a wk. before scholl started last yr. in Aug. The both have hair now but are still Buddies just not bald buddies. She went with him for his monthly check up in Ia. City yesterday. He is doing okay with his chemo. His family is on the rollercoaster ride.

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    To be honest, I've been afraid to read. My son has been fighting hepatoblastoma since June of 2008 and we've had 4 recurrences. He's still strong and he's still happy but obviously, the prognosis is not good. The doctors like to try to give me the statistics but I try to remind myself what the odds were he got this anyway. If it's a one in a million that he got the disease, then if chance of cure is one in a million, that's still accomplishable. I don't know you but I love you because I know what you have been through and the strength and love it took you to get her.

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    Sheila, I read your blog entries as you posted them last month. Then, I located yours and Donna's CaringBridge account. I've been reading that for a few days now. I've got 13 pages to go, and the Mom in me is absolutely heartbroken for you, Donna's Daddy, and Donna's Brother. I'm sitting here with tears streaming down my face, but I can't help but smile, too. You did everything right! You made her short, bittersweet life as wonderful and fulfilling as you possibly could have, and I'm sure that she knows that. Bless you and your family! <3

  • Thank you

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