Cancer DX anniversary; or, why this is always a weird day for me

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia up-close and almost pretty in a sparkly jewel kind of way

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia up-close and almost pretty in a sparkly jewel kind of way

December 17 is the anniversary of Graydon’s cancer diagnosis. On the weekend of December 14, 15 and 16 in 2001, we spent the weekend at home with Graydon with a printout of blood counts saying he had an ANC of close to zero, waiting for a fever and a race to the hospital. He didn’t get a fever. He couldn’t go to his buddy’s birthday sleepover party. I took him to my office on Sunday, where he helped me wrap work gifts in tissue paper, stuff gift bags, make hot chocolate and run down the empty halls like 8 year olds love to do. The next morning we were at Sick Kids at 8:30 a.m., and by 3:30 had a diagnosis of leukemia.

So December 17 is a weird day for our family me. I don’t publicize it, as in, “Let’s go to Swiss Chalet tonight! It’s Graydon’s DX anniversary!” I try not to think about it, and as a result, think about it all-day long. And this year it was particulary difficult, because Luka was turning 8 on the 21st, the same age Graydon was when he was diagnosed. So I spent the day looking at Luka and thinking about Graydon at that age, and well, it was a weird day.

Questions for you: Have you had a big, ugly anniversary to do with one of your kids, siblings? Do you mark it in some way? How long was it before you actually forgot the date for the first time?

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One Response

  1. It is funny, but I don’t remember my diagnosis date. I know it was the end of October in 2006. I was called to the gynecologist’s office right away after having had a d & c the week before. He had me in his office for 20 seconds total and took me as the first appointment of the afternoon. He said, “Well, it was too late, what was possible was there and you will be alright, I am sending you to Princess Margaret and they will do a hysterectomy. See the receptionist. Good-bye”. He showed as much concern and compassion as telling me that the next bus would be by in ten minutes. Later that week my husband and I went shopping for a new car for me (already planned) and I remember thinking, how weird it was to get cancer and a new car all in the same week.

    I almost got all the way down the stairs to the parking lot when the tears hit. I had to sit in the car for quite some time before I could drive. When I got home I had to call work and let them know that I could not drive a school bus that afternoon and why.

    Princess Margaret and my doctor were wonderful and on January 4th, 2007 my surgery took away all the cancer and that is the date I remember and celebrate. I am thankful for the age I was, almost 53 and three healthy children. I feel great and the parts they took out are not missed, but life is definitely worth it.

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