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Thursday, May 1, 2008


The result of one of the five tests is still pending, but so far all are good. And in 10 weeks, we’ll repeat them all over again. I was speaking with someone about Liam’s 90-day tests and she was surprised to hear how invasive the tests are and that some require anesthesia. Yes, they’re scary and intrusive tests that are gut-wrenching and threaten to throw off your center of balance. And yes some of the tests require anesthesia, something that the person I was talking with found unnerving. For us, the thought of Liam receiving anesthesia is so “natural” you don’t even think about it. It is what it is. It’s amazing how the landscape of life changes. What seemed so foreign, strange, bizarre and weird is now “natural.” But it’s also amazing the capacity we as human beings have to adapt and change.

It has been a challenging week. Last Thursday another child was lost. Austin Melgar should still be there. Larry called to tell me the news. We both had to quickly compartmentalize it so that we could continue to function until a time we could grieve for him and his family. But the desire to break down and scream and tell everyone how sucky cancer is for children is always there. The desire to tell everyone and anyone about Austin, the little boy with beautiful flaxen hair who loved nothing more than playing soccer and going to school is bubbling just under the surface. And then there’s another little girl, Courtney, who is at home on hospice and who recently lost one of her front teeth. Courtney should be marking more visits with the tooth fairy, not coping with pain.

A note to Austin’s Family:

Dear Amazing Melgar Family,What courage and grace you showed during times that would have made mere mortals crumble. It is so apparent that faith and love beyond description carried you. The world is a better place because of the Melgar Family. The world is a profoundly sadder place without Austin. But Austin's spirit will live on and on and on. May peace be with you. I think I just heard the heaven's cheering as Austin scored yet another goal on his new soccer field. He has home team advantage up there. Our thoughts, support, love, sadness and prayers are with you all.
Gretchen, Larry, Liam and Ella Witt