Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Strength in Numbers

Rosalie was 21-months-old when she was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a type of brain tumor. She had surgery to remove the tumor, then went through 14 months of chemo and radiation. Seven months ago, Rosie finished her treatment protocol, and she has had clear MRIs ever since. She has re-learned how to walk and talk and sing and dance, and has won over the hearts of many doctors, nurses, child life specialists, and all of her physical, occupational, and speech therapists in the proccess.

I lived in San Francisco when Rosie was diagnosed, and was volunteering at UCSF where Rosie was treated. Each week, I'd go early to volunteer and visit with Rosie and whichever parent was "on duty" that day. We'd play with Elmo and sing and giggle. Over the months that Rosie was in the hospital, I not only built a relationship with her, but also re-kindled my relationship with her mother (a friend from summer camp). I looked forward to those Wednesday afternoons, and was sad when it came time for me to move across the country to Boston.

Since then, I've managed to get back to San Francisco almost every six months, and I have been able to see Rosie and her family each time. Those visits have been highlights of my trips and I always look forward to seeing how many more things Rosie can do since my last visit (painting, standing, walking, talking...).

Yesterday, after a routine MRI, Rosie's family got the horrible news that there is a new tumor growing in her spine. I feel so overwhelmingly sad and frustrated, both at the news, and at the fact that I can only lend my support from afar this time, instead of being right there with them. So I'm keeping them in my thoughts and sending them lots of love and strength, and I'm begging all of you to do the same.

Rosie & Mommy & Miss Kitty
Spring 2006

Singing with Mommy, Spring 2006

Rosie & Daddy, Spring 2006

Rosie & Mommy, Winter 2007

Susannah & Rosie, Spring 2007

Rosie & Susannah, Spring 2008

Swimming Rosie (no more tubies!)

Fall 2007

Dr. Rosie, Halloween 2006


smukai said...

I'm sorry Phoebe. It seems that life can be so unfair. We have a kid in a youth hockey program out here who was diagnosed with cancer (amongst a plethora of other health problems so far in his 6 years of life). They organized a fund raiser that culminated in ticket sales for an Avs game and a Rage game. I'm not sure but I noticed that several of the Av's players had shaved their heads for that game, quite possible out of respect for the fund raising being done for Christian Moreno. Stuff like this tears me apart on so many different a human, as an aspiring parent, as someone who feels such a lack of control over life at times like these.

Anonymous said...

I'm so proud of Carolyn and Mark. I wish I lived closer so I could drop by with dinner and babysitting. EFS.

whendidigrowup said...

That breaks my heart. As a dad, I couldn't imagine.