It's not very often that I use the words "happy" and "cancer" in the same blog post, but today I can do it.
Back in Finn's CaringBridge days, I wrote about Ben Brewer (we went to the same heme/onc clinic in Ohio and then they moved to Colorado shortly before we did in 2006), who had neuroblastoma. Ben underwent a stem cell transplant in fall '05 and showed no evidence of disease until July '09 when he relapsed. In fact, I think I blogged last summer about it. Relapsed neuroblastoma? Not good. Not good at all. So Ben started chemo again, and radiation. They've had a tough time. Holidays in the hospital. That just sucks.
But recently the Brewer's went to NYC to consult with doctors at Sloan Kettering and Sarah, Ben's mom, wrote this post that made me (and obviously her!), very, very happy. The bottom line, just in case that link doesn't work, is that the doctors feel they can cure Ben's relapsed neuroblastoma, which is incredible, incredible news! Ben still has a tough struggle in front of him, but to get such promising news has to give them a huge boost.
In other happy news, remember Ruth? She's the amazing librarian and the boys' school who is not only just an all-around amazing person, she also was one of the people who really helped Finn when he was struggling to adjust when he went to kindergarten. Again, Ruth's cancer was something I blogged about when she relapsed about a year ago. She has been undergoing chemo and really struggling, but also still coming to school. She is incredibly strong.
But in December, things took an awful turn. She had a blockage in her intestine that could not be fixed, according to the doctors, and just before Christmas, she was sent home from the hospital on hospice. Her daughter blogged that there would be no further updates on the blog until they knew when the memorial service would be. It was a terrible time. I, along with a lot of other mothers, spoke with our kids about how sick Ruth was. At one point, Finn said something like, "Well, can we tell her goodbye the next time we see her?" I had to explain that we probably wouldn't ever see Ruth again. It was awful and they were understandably very upset.
And then something happened.
Ruth defied the odds and was eventually discharged from hospice! Who does that!? Ruth, that's who!
So then I informed the boys that when they returned to school on Jan. 4, they would indeed be seeing Ruth. I work in the library shelving books one morning a week, and I tell you, the all kids' were so excited when they came in and saw her. This just tells you how much people love her.
Ruth is still battling her cancer, but she's not giving up. When I saw her that first day back to school, she laughed and said, "Give me an inch and I'll ask for a mile. Now I want to be cured of cancer, too!" Countless people are praying for the very same thing.
Now, on one final not good note, my friend Rachael's brother, Jack, was recently diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma that has spread. He's got a difficult battle ahead of him. If you get a chance, could you drop in on his CaringBridge page, and give him a shout out in support? You'll see he's Mighty Jack Harris. That Mighty? It's in honor of The Mighty Finn and his success in beating cancer. We want that Mighty luck to transfer on over to Jack now!