What I’ll be doing on Halloween

While most parents will be transforming their everyday children into a costumed alter ego and hitting the road for candy, I will be quietly losing my mind obsessing thinking about the milestone of Halloween 2008.

Not that I won’t be taking my kids for the annual candy-fest. But I will also be consumed with the knowledge that just before bedtime Peyton will be taking her last dose of chemo. I will hand over her pills, she will chew one last mouthful of medicine and from then on out we’ll be relying solely on faith that cancer will be gone from our lives.

Two and a half years of chemotherapy and radiation, spinal taps and bone marrow aspirations, a compromised immune system and hair that won’t stop falling out comes to a close.

In July of 2006 we thought of this day as some unfathomable time…something we couldn’t grasp as a REAL time. Yet, here it is. Quickly approaching.

Perhaps many of you, who know that your child’s condition or illness has no end will be jealous or wonder how I could be anything but ecstatic. I think that about myself some days.

But the end of chemo just opens a door to a life of uncertainty. I’ve seen the children who have cancer reoccur, secondary cancers develop, the long-term effects of the treatment begin to take their toll. I’ve watched cancer come back to steal the lives of my daughter’s friends, cried over their loss, held their parents as we cried bitter tears.

There is no done when it comes to cancer. There is only NOT NOW.

Will I ever be sure that the cancer won’t come back?

Will I ever look at my daughter and not see the scarily sick child she was just a year ago?

Will a time come when I can see bruises on her legs and not feel a chill of fear?

Will there be a day that hearing her say that her body hurts doesn’t make me want to rush her to the doctor for blood tests?

Do I get to stop being on the lookout for pale lips? Fatigue? Pain?

Will I ever forget that the worst case scenario comes with a very real worst case outcome?

Not now.


I get to pray for a future free of disease.

I get to be thankful that she shows no signs of neurological or physical side effects at this point.

I get to be full of hope for my daughter’s life, one for which we’ve fought hard.

I get to praise God that He has seen us to this point, brought us uncountable blessings to offset our devastating pains.

I get to learn how to live our new normal.

Trust me, it’s even harder than it sounds.

You can also find me at Hope4Peyton, The Mayhew Review and Twitter, you should come by, it’s nice…we have cookies! Feel free to email me at Anissa.Mayhew (at) gmail (dot )com.

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