Impacting the lives of those Fighting, and the families who support them –
The Story of the LeFebre Family
“How can anyone answer the question “What is it like being the parent of a child fighting a life-threatening illness?” As a parent you live with the notion that you can protect your child; that you can control what happens until they are mature enough to face the world’s challenges.
The simple word “cancer” takes away your ability to protect your child. You want to reassure them that “all will be well”, when deep down you know the future is uncertain and out of your control. The daily rigors of treatment impact not only the child, but also the parents and siblings. What was predictable and routine no longer exists and the family is thrown into the whirlwind of a new ‘normal’. Your struggle to meet the emotional and physical needs of every family member while trying to cope yourself.
Dear Camp Soaring Eagle,
My daughter, Halle, was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma stage IV on April 11, 2008. She was stage IV because the disease had spread outside of her lymph system and into her lungs. She was 11 years old and in 5th grade at the time. She needed 8 chemo treatments and was able to go back to school about half of the time for 6th grade. She was bald, but didn’t seem too bothered by that. However, after chemo was all over and her hair was growing back it unexpectedly fell out again. This time the lack of hair was a problem. I think it was the unexpected nature of the 2nd time. She had 4 different wigs, red, brown, blond and a mixture of red and blond. She could be a different girl every day! Treatment was tough in the typical ways. She had weight loss, bone pain, nausea and all of those things, but the toughest was when the chemo started eating a hole in her colon. She was in the hospital for 15 days and was unable to eat for 11 of those days. She couldn’t even have ice chips, it was torture for her. She was receiving IV nutrition, but she was really hungry and weak. She also developed pneumonia during this stay. Once they told her she could eat again she had a hard time getting anything down for days. We made it through and she did get to say she got to see her colon on TV! How many 6th graders could say that!