This past week we passed the 10th anniversary of when Oliver was diagnosed with cancer. It started with a trip to DeVos Children’s Hospital to check low-blood levels and ended up being a four-night stay. We can home in time for the Labor Day Weekend with a four-year-old boy who had cancer. (The picture above is from that weekend).
I wrote about this process from the beginning on Carepages, a now defunct website. My entry from Labor Day weekend included this conversation with Oliver (he was four-years-old).
As we sat on the floor playing with Legos he stopped and asked, “Why do I have cancer?”
“I don’t know why babe.”
“I don’t want it anymore,” he said.
“I don’t want you to have it anymore. That is why we will go back to the hospital.”
“How many days will I need to stay there?”
“Many days. Actually, at least three weeks. We need that long to start fighting the cancer.”
Quiet pause again.
“I’ll keep my cancer.”
Oliver didn’t want to have cancer. He didn’t want to spend weeks in the hospital. He wanted to be a normal little boy. He never got to be that as he spent the next three years in and out of the hospital, in remission and out of remission, and finally dying weeks before his 7th birthday.
Sometimes, with years between you and the anniversary, you get a new perspective on it. And, sometimes, it just feels lousy.
Miss you, little man.