Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I can barely type this without being sick. Literally.

Some really bad language is ahead, so if this troubles you, please avert your gaze now or stop reading before the last few paragraphs.

Over the years we've come to "know" many CaringBridge families--some we've been fortunate enough to meet in person, some just through their CaringBridge pages.

From almost the first week Finn was sick, I found Zach's page through another CaringBridge page. When I first "met" the Finestone family, Zach was four years into his battle with neuroblastoma. All pediatric cancer is hideous in my book, but neuroblastoma is particularly awful.

Yet here was Zach, defying the odds. Living long past doctors thought he would, torturing his parents with his crazy teen antics, and ratting out his Dad, Scott, when he once broke wind in public (possibly my favorite Zach story). I got used to hearing about Zach's day-to-day life as an American teenager. I didn't forget that he had cancer, but he was focused on living and I was focused on reading about it.

And then things started to change this fall. Cancer came slamming back with a vengence.

Just days before we left for Finn's Make-A-Wish trip, the Finestone's learned there were no more treatment options for Zach. In all the excitement of making plans and looking forward to the NYC trip, I felt a terrible pall of sadness and anxiety. How could we be so happy and yet another cancer family is suffering so badly?

Reading Scott's updates is heartbreaking. I feel physically sick for this brave family that has fought so hard for so long--nine years. Nine. Fucking. Years. People. Would you have the stamina to go that long? Well, of course, we all would if that's what we needed to do, but just the thought of it is paralyzing to me. And then to have it end this way. Well. I don't know what to do with these feelings.

I want to say it's unfair, but I don't know what fair is anymore.

Please say a prayer for the Finestones.


Mary Burns said...

I think I first found your blog from a comment you left on another blog.. I rejoiced as Finn finished treatment and did well.. and I cry as I read what Zach, Rebecca and Scott are going through. Zach has fought for so so long.. against a very evil cancer. I first found Caringbridge when one of my good friends had a daughter with neuroblastoma.. she died after a two year fight. I was really praying that Zach would be able to beat the beast. This is so heartbreaking.. and we will hold our kids tighter tonight.

Anonymous said...


Leeann said...

I don't understand it either, Natalie, and it makes having faith really hard sometimes.

Someday, I hope, all of this will be revealed to have served some sort of purpose. In the meantime, it is just horribly painful.

Love goes out to Zach's family and to you in your helplessness and anguish.

Mom on the Run said...

I will click on over to Zach's page right now. I found your page through another Caringbridge page. NB is awful. A friend's friend's son has it. He's been treated at Children's in DC and is now at Sloan-Kettering in NYC. His prognosis dire. For right now he is NED, but he must continue taking treatments that are hard on him. He's 5 the same age as my son. It hits home--hard.

Mom on the Run said...

If you don't mind I'd like to link your post to my blog. I found this post via Kristie. I don't get a lot of traffic, but perhaps someone will see it and pray for Zach.

1dreamr said...

I can't even imagine... I'll be praying, though.

Mountain Mama said...

I will be praying for Zach.

Jess said...

Crushing blow. No doubt. I've grown to love that family over the past few years - even though we have never met. The only consolation is that Z-Man is no longer hurting. It still pisses me off though.

shara said...

Not cancer, but AIDS was the monster that took a young friend of mine. It was years ago and his fight was very public in the area I lived.

He was a love, an inspiration, a laugh, human and my heart broke.

I know this isn't a very positive comment. Hope you will fogive me.

Your post has reminded me of him and his life, which brings all those emotions-love, inspiration, laughter and a broken heart- back.

Oddly- thank you. Really. I miss him.

Much love.

nancy said...

couldn't have said it better myself. I have been reading scott's journal for many years now and am so sad and heartbroken for them. fly with the angels sweet zach