Our cancer story began in late 2003, once upon a time, when Dan and I were younger, much less medically experienced and simply enjoying our family. We were busy, I thought, with three small children, but a ‘good busy’ and we had a blessed life.
We didn’t see her regular doctor that day at the practice (it was nearing on Christmas), but the substitute pediatrician blamed it on hormones passed to Lauren from my birth control pills, because I was still nursing. Lauren was my last baby, and Dan still brought her in to me first thing each morning. Feeling guilty and responsible for harming her, I never nursed her again.
But despite this generally positive trend, I frequently wrestled during this time with odd things that happened with Lauren. Changes in her appetite had a sinister feel to them, a potential symptom of the cancer’s return. (And what child doesn’t have these sorts of changes as they grow?) I tried to tamp down my worries and reminded myself that we had it beat. And it was only a lightning strike... A fluke... Bad luck...
I am ashamed to say that more than once, I panicked as I changed her diaper…spotting a black hair or two on her nether parts. The sick feeling, as my stomach dropped and my mind raced to very ugly places, fearing that the cancer was back…well, it fortunately disappeared upon closer inspection.