Saturday, July 13, 2013

Little friends are the best medicine

Last night I had the privilege of getting to spend several hours on the oncology floor of the San Diego Children's Hospital. I have never been on that floor before and even got a little lost trying to find it.
Our friend's daughter {4} was just diagnosed this week with stage 5 bilateral kidney cancer. 

Meaning the cancer is on both kidneys. 

Wilm's is the name of it.
Just wrapping my head around that sentence is still mind boggling.
Little Taelyn had just finished her first round of chemo when I arrived with my daughter, Addyson {5}, to visit. She was in good spirits when we got there, being pushed around by her daddy on the IV pole. According to one of my best friends that works on the oncology floor, these IV pole rides are a fairly typical thing around there. Addy jumped on with her and caught a ride as Taelyn directed where we would go next. 

Daddy listened to every hall his little girl wanted to take.
I tell you, walking passed rooms of all ages of children on the oncology floor will do something for your spirit.
I gasped as I walked by a room of dueling cribs. These 8 month old twins both had cancer. I'm sorry, but something about seeing cribs on the oncology floor... heart wrenching. The little faces peeking through the bars seemed happy as can be. 
On a search for popcorn, a stop at the gift shop, we eventually made our way to the activity room where the girls sat and played play doh, colored and painted Hello Kitty pictures chatting with each other about their favorite princesses, colors, and their mutual love for rainbows.
Watching Addy talk and hang out with Taelyn as if the IV pole attached and the tubes coming from her chest, the wheel chair in the room were completely normal was so amazing

Addyson saw that little girl as a little friend and nothing else. 

Addy never asked about all of those things, instead just acted like everything was totally normal.

I saw in that moment that little friends can be the best medicine.
One glace around the activity room and you could see who was new to the oncology floor simply by the fact that they still had their hair. A few adorable little ones with whisps of hair left made their way into the room with their parents in tow.
I learned a lot from those parents in the short time I was there.
Those little kids had 150% of their parent's attention.
I watched a daddy lay on the floor with his little balding beauty and play with the toys with her. Another mom with her little boy sat and colored and helped him paint. There was absolutely no distractions. There was no other place these parents would rather be than in that little place with those precious children.
The same went for Taelyn's mommy and daddy. Taelyn asked her mommy to paint with her and with no hesitation her mom sat down and chose her art project.
I mentioned to my friend I was with how humbling it was. How many times have I put sitting down to color or paint with my kids on hold while "other things" grasped for my attention.
We made it back to Taelyn's room as she was starting to feel some effects of the first round of chemo. I was still so amazed by her. This little fighter still wanted to put up the foot pedals and climb into her wheel chair all by herself. 
The girls watched Cinderella together as Taelyn bundled under blankets. Visitors were starting to head out and Taelyn was begging her big brother and for Addy to spend the night. It was so eye opening. When you are being constantly poked and prodded and hugged and kissed by adults I could see why she clung to the little ones.
We got ready to leave and promised Taelyn we would be back to play soon.
♥     ♥     ♥
In this week of finding out about Taelyn, it's already so evident of how much the Lord is using this situation in so many ways.
When you see a family gather around a little girl like this it's amazing how many other things in your life get not put, but thrown into perspective.
Just for our family alone God has shown us that some of the situations we were holding onto and stressing about truly were petty in the big picture. 
Sometimes it takes these little fighters for us "big kids" to find freedom in other areas.
The Lord has a plan.
Taelyn was fearfully and wonderfully made.
And I tell you what, Taelyn is one tough cookie.
To follow along with Taelyn's journey you can "like" her page on Facebook!
Click here.