A single cancer diagnosis affects so many people. When it is a child that receives the diagnosis, a parent’s world changes forever, as Creston’s Lecara Davidson learned, when her daughter, Chloe, was diagnosed with leukemia at two year old.
“On the day that she was diagnosed, life became very complicated,” said Davidson. “Trying to explain to a two-year-old why she had to get poked again, why she had to stay very still for treatments and why she couldn’t eat when she woke up in the morning became my new life, my new challenge. At the beginning, holding Chloe down and still for various treatments was a must. I remember thinking to myself while she screamed in my arms, This is for her benefit, for her survival.”
Caring for Chloe took a great deal of patience.
“There was a lot of steroid rage, tired crankiness and sickness, in which I had to take a deep breath and remember she didn’t understand what she was going through and why she wasn’t feeling well,” said Davidson. “I took each day as it came. Living day-to-day was the only way my life would not overwhelm me. I dealt with challenges as they arose and hoped that one day this would all be a memory, a chapter in my life that would change me hopefully for the better, making me more understanding and sympathetic.”
As treatment went on, Chloe got used to all the pokes and prods.
“I still felt sorry for her that she had to go through this at such a young age but I also became proud of her — proud that she had adapted to her new life as a patient, proud that she was a great patient,” said Davidson. “There were almost no more tears. She had become a brave girl that would stay strong no matter what the circumstance.
“My past three years have been stressful, and difficult. As each day passes I begin to worry less and look forward to the future.”
Part of Davidson’s future is hope. The Canadian Cancer Society gives hope in the community, by:
•influencing change through its advocacy efforts to create healthier environments and help individuals reduce their risk of cancer;
•empowering Canadians with reliable up-to-date information through the Cancer Information Service (CIS) at 1-888-939-3333;
•speaking up on issues that affect Canadians with cancer; and
•providing a range of practical and emotional support programs to people living with cancer, including family members and caregivers.
For more information about volunteering or participating in the 2013 Relay for Life, visit www.relaybc.ca or contact Lori Stevenson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-656-6426.
—CANADIAN CANCER SOCIETY