Just over a year ago I was Jen- a working mommy; labor and delivery nurse, happily married wife with a healthy baby girl and beautiful sweet boy. One persistent cold and a blood test changed me into a Cancer Mom fighting Leukemia. Our precious son Jeffrey was diagnosed on February 24, 2012 just days after his 3rd birthday. On that day I was handed a club membership card No ONE wants. Cancer was shoved into our world without my permission. Spooky shadows, nightmares and an occasional boogie man are supposed to be the worst thing you soothe your child from once in a while. Horrible tests, painful procedures, and serious infections make shadows seem friendly. The painful truths and experiences we have endured have also paved a way for astonishing miracles, profound gratitude, and the certainty that we do not walk any road, no matter how awful-alone. Impressing a fellow RN, such as myself, is not easy but, it happened! Jeffrey’s leukemia nurses have provided exceptional care at Bronson’s Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic! From the day we were first admitted, the floor nurses- Kate, Theresa, Nate and “Tall Ashley” have gone out of their way to care for Jeffery, shown creativity, and interpersonal skills above and beyond traditional nursing protocol. Discernment regarding the rare form of leukemia Jeffrey has was grueling. Today, there is no where else I can imagine Jeffrey receiving care. Receiving chemotherapy at the clinic, brought us to meet Jean, Mel, and Sue; the primary nurses who have been involved in Jeffrey’s ongoing treatment. Nurse Jean made homemade split pea soup when Jeffrey was diagnosed- an unexpected and endearing gift at a crushing time. Their knowledge and expertise go beyond medical care in to the relational connections with the family. Jeffrey is well versed in “Five Little Monkeys” song thanks to her! Mel’s wit brings a smile to your face when you can’t imagine it would be possible during procedures. Sue and her incredibly soothing voice provides calm every time we go in for pokes and labs. Not only is Dr. Elliot an award winning oncologist, but we feel at peace with her approach. To meet someone so “on the ball” and on TOP of everything gives a parent the most incredible reassurance! NOTHING IS MISSED, our bases are covered! Facing a turning point in the care for Jeffrey in the beginning and being able to trust her advice truly allows a mother to sleep a little better at night! If she says to do something, we do it and don’t look back. I never dreamed our son would play Angry Birds with his doctor or watch Little Einsteins with her before spinal taps! She is a patient advocate!Cancer families united (CFU) has been instrumental in my road to healing and they gave me the go ahead to move forward. I met multiple “cancer moms” at monthly dinners and realized for the first time I’m not alone in this journey. I was able to finally laugh and take comfort that I had new friends that knew exactly what I was going through. In the midst of this journey I realized how little research was done to help find cures or to come up with new treatments. I found out really quick how drug companies are not willing to invest in research to find cures, they just want to come up with more expensive drugs to treat, while our kids are suffering or dying. But I know with education and stories told we can start advocating for these children and give pediatric a face and a voice.
…Jenny P., mother to Jeffery – Leukemia warrior!
Our Mission: To provide essential support and services to families affected by childhood cancer through family networking, community awareness, financial assistance and advocacy for a cure.