Yesterday, I blogged about pee.
Today, I write about something more serious. And tragic. And sad.
I did not know much about childhood cancer before Ari was diagnosed. I have vivid memories of the hospital visit I made in the 5th grade to see my friend Jeremy as he battled leukemia. I brought him candy and a stuffed animal and I sat by his bedside and wondered what leukemia meant. I can still picture him bald and puffy cheeked. And then two years later, I remember slow dancing with him at my bat mitzvah. And then I recall watching him walk across the stage at high school graduation. And today, according to Facebook, he has 3 college degrees, plays baseball, has a ton of friends, and lives a normal healthy life.
I thought every kid with cancer had a happy ending like this.
But that's just not reality.
And it's not the ending for Sam.
How do I even begin to describe the way I feel about Sam?
He's been fighting for the same exact amount of time as Ari. He lives in Chicago with his parents, his two brothers, and his sister. I have never met him. We have no blood relation. And I'm not even exactly sure how to pronounce his last name. Yet he is my son. His mom is my sister. His family is my family. We fight the same battle. And I thought we would all win. And then celebrate together.
But Sam's leukemia is aggressive and stubborn and the cancer has re-emerged more vicious than ever. And now, for little 8 year-old Sam, medicine and science can no longer help. They've tried everything. So now, they pray for a miracle. And they make every last second fun and lively and love-filled. This has been their mantra and continues to be so even when the heart aches and the throat tightens and the eyes weep. Their days, their nights, and their lives are filled with friends, family, and fun. Nothing else matters.
I pray for Sam. I pray for him to experience as much excitement and joy and happiness as possible during this incredibly hard time. I pray for his parents and for his siblings and for their entire family.
And I ask you to do the same.