Tuesday, July 3, 2012

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Julie from High Hill Homeschool Blog shared with us at Never Lose Your Sparkle yesterday the story of her daughter Jemma's recent diagnosis of Leukemia. Her story is so incredibly brave and inspiring, I wanted to share it here as well... I can't help but feel an incredible sisterhood with other Mommies  like Julie whose children are diagnosed with life threatening illnesses... please read on to find out how this family keeps their Sparkle!

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I was recently asked by Kim at Never Lose Your Sparkle to do a guest post and I quickly agreed, because writing about my daughter Jemma helps me get through. Here is my post for Kim.

I'm Julie from Highhill Homeschool. Last month my family was finishing up the homeschool year while looking forward to our summer vacation visiting friends and family in Michigan when our world was turned upside down. My daughter Jemma went to the emergency room for a bacteria infection and was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).

Growing up my dad always said "Life isn't Fair". This phrase always made me feel like I was one of the lucky ones. Now I'm not so sure.

There are some things we have control over in life and some things we don't. I have always been a good girl of sorts. In school I got good grades and followed the rules. As an adult I'm constantly striving to make life better for my family. Of couse everyone has their own opinion of how to make things better, but for me that includes homeschooling my children, exercising and eating a healthy diet. I believe these things minimize health issues, and are best for my children. I have control over these things.

Well, sometimes we don't have control over life. Cars crash, accidents happen and illnesses strike. What we do have control over is how we react to these things. After finding out Jemma had Leukemia I cried for two days straight, then decided I wasn't going to do that any more. It wasn't helping me and it certainly wasn't helping Jemma. I don't have control over the fact that she has Leukemia, but I do have control over my behavior. Now I have chosen to be as strong as possible for her and try to make her time spent in treatment as normal as possible.

Our struggle is just beginning, so I'm far from an expert on dealing with Leukemia or any other life changing illness. What I do know is that raising healthy children is a huge challenge. We all have struggles and all want to make life better for our families and children. Parents of healthy children want their kids to remember all the steps in their dance routine during the recital, easily learn to read, and treat others with respect. Parents of sick children want their children to be well. Each challenge and improvement is important to those who are involved. We all adjust depending on our circumstances.

So far Jemma is doing very well, but she is only on the second week of a two to three year treatment plan. We have a long way to go. You can follow her story here.

Although life isn't fair, it is what it is. My husband, Jemma and I cancelled our vacation to Michigan, but our older two children still got to go. Their vacation may even turn out better than originally planned. They are being passed between grandparents, aunts and uncles. Each one is spoiling them rotten.

It is difficult being here in the hospital because she is on many medications and must spend lots of time being checked by doctors. The medications have several side effects that have changed her body physically, caused her pain, and taken away her energy. Despite the challenges, I am thoroughly enjoying the quality time I am spending with Jemma. We have read stories, played games, done craft projects and even gone on a few explores. So always remember, like my dad says life isn't fair---- but also remember ---- you have control over how you react to it!

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Now, don't forget to stop over to Julie's Blog to show some support and follow Jemma's journey.
Want to share your story or thoughts on supporting a child to keep their sparkle?  Contact me!

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Winner of the Ramsign House number sign will be announced later this afternoon so stop back!

1 comment:

KraftinMommy said...

Stay strong jemma, saying prayers for you!

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