This is the beginning of Cycle 3 of Joanna’s chemotherapy. Starting sometime last week I kind of started dreading it. Cycle 2 was a lot different than 1. She threw up more (I’m not sure we thought that was possible), and she was WAY more tired.

So, I think I’ve been expecting that it will be hard for her, and that’s hard. Seeing her curled up in the hospital bed, knocked out by medicine that helps her stop vomitting, but also puts her to sleep is tough.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I know that all this hard stuff is happening because without it, the cancer would likely grow and take her life. That’s just crummy.

So, besides being sick from the chemo, I knew she’d have to have another covid test today. She squeals when the swab goes up her nose. No one wants to see their kiddo in pain.

Also, part of me knows that though this is week 7 of chemo, and week 12 since we first noticed the lump, we keep learning new things. Just when we think we know how a process is going to go, something new comes up. So, there is the uncertainty of the unknown. There is the fact that in this situation there are LOTS of parts that we just can’t know. That unknown is tough.

I came home from her pre-admit doctor visit feeling like I was going to throw up. Yep, in our case, it’d be nice if the parents were prescribed anti-nausea meds too, I could sure put those to use.

Perhaps it was the talk about the 3 weeks of daily radiation that will be coming. Perhaps it was the watching her have to be brave to get blood drawn again, or get the covid nasal swab again. Perhaps it was the conversation about what scans will need to be done next to check on things. Maybe it was the confirmation that right now there really isn’t a way to know if the chemo is working. Is all this trauma doing good?

But, maybe part of it was the fact that they brought Morgan a specimen cup for her to pee in -yep, rules have changed and now they want to do pregnancy tests on 9 year old girls instead of girls 12 and up. Nine year olds. No confirmation first about whether or not they’re far enough along in puberty for it be possible for them to be pregnant, just “here’s a cup, pee in it.” No notification ahead of time so we could help her be prepared. Just something new and confusing.

So, tonight I’m just mad. Mad that she has to go through this. Mad that 9 year olds now are expected to have their urine checked for pregnancy. Mad that I can’t take away the pain or fear for her.

And, yet, I’m thankful. Thankful that she has a caring oncologist. Thankful that the nurses, medical assistants, lab workers, Child Life Staff, and other staff who interact with her are caring. They talk to her and listen to her and validate her feelings. As horrible as this is, I don’t doubt that it would be worse without these great workers. Thankful that Morgan’s job allows us to have health insurance, and that he’s able to join us for the appointments. As much as she’s not looking forward to the pokes and the meds and nausea tomorrow, she is looking forward to seeing the service dog, playing in the Zone, and seeing her “grown-up friends” (the child life staff).


  1. Thank you for sharing all your words. I’m sure you see the comments on our daughter’s site, but I’ll say it here too. Praying not just for her health, but also for trusting in the ultimate healer.

    Love to you and Morgan.

  2. Cancer and everything that goes along with that just sucks. Sharing your journey with others, exposing the raw emotions and fear of the unknown is tough but can be cathartic too. Praying daily that you will feel Gods love and presence during this terrible time. It is encouraging to read that despite all the trauma you find things to be thankful for. Hugging you from one Mom to another.

  3. We love you all. As hard as this is I see the Love you three have for one another, love that fuels and sustains. Love never fails.

  4. You & Morgan are navigating the unthinkable beautifully. It’s huge and ugly. You are doing a great job. Praying you feel Holy Spirit’s peace & constant presence in all things today and the days to follow this round.

  5. Thank you for being raw with us. I’m praying daily. I can’t imagine. My heart hurts for you. Love you 💕

  6. I truly cannot imagine watching your child go through all of that. But as you said, the alternative is worse. Joining with you in prayer…

  7. I’m so sorry you are going thru this. Praying every day that things will get better.💞💖

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