I think I’m pretty good at appreciating my children, even when I want to pull out my hair when the baby won’t sleep or when The Big Sis talks back. But there are some times when I appreciate them even more and hold them close and give them extra hugs.

This week is one of those weeks, as we found out that a friend’s three-year-old daughter has a relapse of a rare form of cancer; a tumor has returned to the original place. This after more than a year of treatments that included multiple surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy, which they just VERY recently wrapped up. They thought one difficult journey was over, but new scans told them otherwise.

I cannot pretend to imagine how they are feeling. Defeated. Angry. Frustrated. Tired. All of it and more.

But I know how I feel upon hearing their news — brokenhearted for them, knowing that yet another difficult challenge lies ahead after all they’ve been through. This child has shown so much courage in the past year and a half, and it’s awful that this is her norm. She should be having circle time with her friends at preschool. She should be asking her little sister to play with her. She should be helping in the kitchen. She should be making a mess in a sandbox.

Instead, she has to know what a port and an IV are. She has to know the inside of a hospital room all too well. She has to know a team of doctors and nurses as well as she knows her own family.

A three-year-old should not know these things.

So I continue to offer my support to their family. And I continue to give my own children extra hugs and kisses, as you never know if you might have that moment that changes your life forever.


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