Monday, June 18, 2007

Our "Normal" Summer

Summer has been in full swing here in the Cook household for the last three weeks. We have an extra long summer this year since school doesn't start until August 27. I have big plans for this summer... TO BE A NORMAL FAMILY. This will be our "first summer" as a normal family in a LONG time.

Julianna was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on February 25, 2004. She was just three years and two days old. She looked completely healthy. I had taken her to the pediatrician for her three year check up, but guess what? She wasn't healthy. She had CANCER. It was the biggest shock of my life. I still think about our "diagnosis day" every single day. Now, instead of that "heavy" feeling in my heart that I used to get when I thought about that day, I get a feeling of disbelief. Did all of that REALLY happen to us? Seriously?

Now, if you look at Julianna, she doesn't look sick AT ALL. She has a head full of curly brownish blonde hair, pink cheeks, and eyes full of sparkles. She is COMPLETELY HEALTHY. That's why we are going to have a NORMAL SUMMER.

There are SO MANY things you CAN'T do when you have a child with cancer. Go swimming at a public pool? No way. Go to the park? No way. Play in the mall play area? No way. Go to the beach? No way. Do you know what lurks in all of those places? GERMS GERMS GERMS!!!!! Julianna's counts stayed SO LOW all during her 2.5 year treatment. We had to be so careful about everything. EVERYTHING. Illness meant that you had to go into the hospital. Believe me, there were PLENTY of illnessnes despite our carefulness.... but who wants to go looking for trouble?

Now, we have big plans for our SUMMER OF NORMALCY. We are going to the beach!!! We are going to swimming lessons!!! We are going to gymnastics lessons!!! We are going to the mall, the zoo, restaurants, birthday parties... you name it, we're going!!

Am I still careful about germs? HECK YES!!!!!!! But, I don't let the fear of them keep us from enjoying ourselves! We went swimming this morning! We are going to Gatti Town tonight!! And we are going to have a GREAT time!

More soon!



Heroes for Children said...

Cheers to normalcy!! Lots of love to my little friend Julianna!

I couldn't be happier for you and the entire Cook family, Staci. Thanks for being apart of this experience with us!

Debbie said...

I am so happy for you! Its amazing all the things you take for granted until you can't have them. Enjoy your summer to the fullest!! Congratulations!!!