I know a woman whose son is Brody's age, actually 2 weeks younger than Brody. Dante has neuroblastoma, a rare and very dangerous cancer. They found it right after Christmas. A fever that would not go away.
I read Dante's mom's updates on carepages.com. A group of women organized a sort of support group and we try to help by sending gifts. Dante's mom says it helps her. I hope so.
Through Dante and his family, we have heard trickles of news about a little girl, Avery, who is 4. Avery is treated at the same hospital as Dante for the same cancer. Avery's cancer was found at the end of April, 2008.
Avery's doctors just told her mom on Friday that there was nothing more that they could do, that the cancer had filled every part of Avery's brain. Avery has between a few weeks and a few months to live. No one really knows.
I've cried every day since learning about Avery. And I don't even know Avery or her mom in even the slightest way. Except thanks to carepages.com I learned how her mom told Avery's siblings that Avery was going to die, and I learned how it feels to take your child home from the hospital and wait for hospice workers to appear on your doorstep.
I'm not hormonal. I'm not pregnant. I say that because even I think I would be I'm so upset about this news. I've completely internalized it and I think it's a little irrational of me to be so upset. I've known for years that kids have cancer, and die. I've known since Brody was born that his life was at risk.
As I cried into my husband's shoulder last night I kept asking him why, why would this happen. He said we should be even more grateful for Brody and what a miracle he is. I just kept thinking this last Christmas they had no idea it would be Avery's last Christmas.
She's 4 years old.
And how do you do that? How do you watch your child die? How do you make her smile when you are dying inside yourself? What can I say to Avery's mom, a stranger? What do you say to someone you've never met, you never will meet, about their child dying? And why do I care about what to say? How arrogant for me to even think that anything I can say will help or not.
If you're reading this, please spare a good thought or a prayer for Avery and her family. I'm off to a deposition.