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View Diary: Monday Night Cancer Club: Open Thread (32 comments)

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  •  Good evening! (7+ / 0-)

    Paul Pogue here, patriarch of the family Pogue, father to a 5-year-old son surviving cancer and a daughter with the eyesight of Mr. Magoo.

    It's a fine spring here in Indianapolis, and a period that always brings conflicting feelings for us. My son's birthday is this week, which is always a time for celebration, but it also puts into mind the days leading up to his diagnosis, the four weeks of doctor visit after doctor visit as he got more and more tired and disinterested in the world, culminating in the day two weeks after his second birthday when he was diagnosed with that canteloupe-sized tumor and the word "neuroblastoma" entered my vocabulary.

    All the moreso on our minds because his sister is showing very ... concerning signs. One of the strongest risk factors for childhood cancer is having a sibling with cancer, and a stage-4 neuroblastoma sibling is roughly four times as likely as others to develop some kind of cancer before age 18. Lately she's started to have a slight limp in her right leg. In any other child the doctors would call it growing pains and leave it at that, but an unexplained limp is also an early warning sign of leukemia. So we're getting a wide array of tests done. Downside being that she also has a minor bacterial infection that (for reasons I don't pretend to understand) is screwing up the test results, so we can't get an accurate test for at least another couple of weeks. So we get to just wait in the meantime. My instinct is that it's nothing, but our doctors understandably want to leave no stone unturned. Still -- more waiting.

    In happier news: Big party for Armand in a few weeks. We have a small party on his birthday and then a larger gathering of friends on what we call Life Day, the weekend closest to the diagnosis anniversary, May 8, 2009. It's quite a lot of fun -- instead of gifts, we ask our friends to donate something to the toy chest for the children's hospital we went through all the treatment at. Armand gets quite a kick out of hauling a wagonload of toys up to the Child Life offices! We're hoping to make it two or even three wagonloads this year ).

    •  What a great idea, to donate toys. (8+ / 0-)

      Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

      by ZenTrainer on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 06:53:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh dear. I hope that your instinct is correct (5+ / 0-)

      about your daughter. I did not know that about the increased risk, but it makes a certain amount of sense. Good for you and for the docs for making sure.
      The party sounds wonderful. The toy donation is a fabulous idea, I agree. Perfect way to celebrate.

      Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

      by peregrine kate on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 07:20:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  all the best (7+ / 0-)

      to you and your family . . . i'm very sorry for your son's diagnosis, and concerned about your daughter, but glad you are here with us today.  

      those wagonloads of toys will delight children who aren't up to going outdoors.

      Success, after all, loves a witness, but failure can't exist without one -- Junot Díaz

      by Avila on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 07:37:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks! (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ZenTrainer, blue91, corvaire, Avila

        Armand has been a huge beneficiary of Child Life's toy program at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital -- the fact that he gets to rummage through a treasure chest and take a toy home after every checkup has done much to relieve any concerns he may have developed about going to the oncology clinic. And of course the entire program was a huge blessing during those times he was in-hospital for weeks on end. I think we could deliver a wagon a year for years to come before we end up delivering an amount equivalent to what he's received! So it's our little way of paying back and saying thanks :).

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