Ruby is Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Girly-Girl Of The Year 2011! She is stepping up for people like her fighting blood cancers; won't you take the step with her?
Ruby was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on May 29, 2009, just a few weeks after her epic, Tinkerbell filled 3rd birthday party. After losing our first baby, Grace, we naively thought we got a pass from such tragedies. Although the diagnosis was devastating, Ruby has a good prognosis and continues to fight like hell. She has had her share of difficulties but she continues to amaze us every single day with her beautiful, joyous spirit. She had been taking everything in stride; holding out her arm for blood pressure “arm hugs”, raising her arm when she saw the thermometer or pulse oximeter coming at her, even lifting her shirt to have injections in her central line. She is amazing, and her capacity to adapt and trust made us proud and fed the kind of unshakable confidence Pitbull Parents need to keep their baby well.
Our perfect and powerful little being is so fierce and so fragile. We have tried to hold firm to our principle of “getting better” not “being sick”. We tell her that her blood is sick, not that she is Sick. We want her to feel as normal as possible, even though she has a tube hanging out of her chest, no hair, and must be super vigilant about germs. There is no going back to normal after a cancer diagnosis. This is our New Normal. Fortunately our New Normal does include normal 3 year old things like fairies, princesses, and anything pink. And, of course, cupcakes.
Things change, like the chemo she is getting and their particular nasty physical and mental effects, but some things remain constant; Ruby’s constant need to be comforted and cared for, our worry and fear, and a powerful will to keep her well. The world outside the small body full of joy and rage, confusion and trust, and poison and healing is magically going forward with what feels like very little direction from within, and it’s a big scary and very germy world out there when your entire universe has shrunk to 38 inches and 35 pounds. Fortunately we live in a time and place where Ruby gets the best care possible, we have the means and support to make this long excruciating 2 year+ haul to health doable, and no matter how lonely or fearful it gets, we are never alone in our fear.
If you have children of any age, hug them and tell them how special they are. Let the important people in your life know how much you love and appreciate them. Find beauty and joy wherever you can...