As Laura and I chatted we heard a bunch of happy greetings as some people entered the unit. There was a mom, a grandpa, and an amazing 3 year old little boy.
I don't know the boy's name, but someone whispered to me that that little boy once had AT/RT. I was in shock, and in awe of this little warrior. Ever since our diagnosis, we have never met or seen another person who had the same diagnosis as Jackson.
I wanted to approach that amazing mom and I wanted to ask her a million questions, but I could not even form a complete sentence. I just stood there, and watched this little boy. He is a survivor of the same cancer that is threatening my son's life. That tiny boy conquered the same dragon that Jackson is fighting right now. That tiny boy is my hero. And as I watched this hero running up and down the halls, I stood there and let the tears flow.
That little boy is an inspiration to me. He was hope. He was walking proof that there can be good from all of the bad we have experienced.
That little boy was hope.
I overheard the mom talk about his scans being "perfect". She mentioned that he will need hearing aids, glasses and growth hormones soon, but that he hasn't been on any medications for the last year and a half. She mentioned that he is just now learning to walk and talk.
That tiny little 3 year old boy, with a crooked smile was hope. He was proof and light. I felt honored by the fact that there was a survivor in my presence.
I wish I could have had the courage to talk to the mom. I wish I didn't cry just by watching this small boy. But there was something powerful that hit me when I saw another child that had the same diagnosis as Jackson- and that that child was thriving, and alive.
I know that we are not alone in the world of childhood cancer. I have met dozens of other families affected by childhood cancer, but I never knew how alone I felt because Jackson's cancer is so rare. There has been no one to talk to about protocols, or treatments. I have not been able to hear stories of triumph.
That little boy was hope. He was the connection I have been missing. He was proof that this fight can be won.