Improbable gratitude #1000speak

Zoe and one of the anaesthetic technicians

Zoe with one of the anaesthetic technicians, She improbably looked forward to seeing the team every day of her six weeks of radiation.

How can you learn gratitude from something that wreaks havoc, turns lives upside down, tortures children and families with unbearable treatments and choices (that are somehow borne anyway) and takes lives?

On the day of Zoe’s diagnosis, I could never have imagined that I would owe childhood cancer any gratitude. But in a strange and improbable way, I do. Continue reading

Always wear the sparkly shoes; a life lesson

Ruby Slippers from the Wizard of Oz

Here’s how my daughter Zoe and childhood cancer taught me not to wait til tomorrow to wear the sparkly shoes.

At the beginning of 2012, Zoe was excited to be going to Camp Quality, a camp for kids living with cancer. One of the activities planned was a dress up party based on movies. Zoe and her camp companion were going as Dorothy and the good witch Glinda from The Wizard of Oz.

We looked all over town for red sparkly shoes to serve as Ruby Slippers for Zoe’s Dorothy, but there were none to be found. We had to decide what was most important – red or sparkly. “Sparkly” was Zoe’s unequivocal answer. Continue reading

Three years ago today

It’s that time of the year where every day I think about what we were doing three years ago today, in the days leading up to Zoe’s relapse and the last few weeks we had with her before she died. I think about it in vague terms because I didn’t keep a diary, just posted a couple of random blog entries and I have never gone back and looked at my facebook posts from that time.

But earlier this year I unthinkingly activated facebook memories. Now I am getting daily reminders of what I was thinking and doing on this day last year, the year before, and the year before that. Continue reading