It has been so long since I have written a long post. The past couple of weeks have been hard. I have missed Christian so much. We took a big family trip together and I think we all felt the absence of Christian. Trips and vacations are hard. Of course, on this recent trip, and most trips, I am the one to get quiet and it seems like I am mad at everyone. That is not the case, mostly, I am just sad, and trying very hard not to show it. What is worse, is that I am with the 2 people I love the most and I somehow cannot articulate how I feel. It’s all crazy and I do not think anyone could begin to understand unless you are a mother at a similar age that has lost a child.
Allow me to regress to August 7, 2011 - 5 years ago. I was in 317 at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger with Christian. We had a lot of support and I had a good friend that had taken me out during the afternoon to have food and drinks. 5 years ago, August 7 was also a Sunday. At this point, Christian had been back in the hospital close to a week and we desperatly needed answers. I remember her telling Dr. Gratias, if you just give me some steriods, I know I will get better. That’s what happened in May 2011 when they could not diagnose her. Christian was so hard to diagnois. Christian was a week away from starting her senior year at Girls Preparatory School. She was not the average student. Christian was intense and driven and had big plans and she was in incredible shape. After she was sick in May, she spent hours everyday training for her senior year cross country season. She always wanted to be better. Her academic intensity is something that was always hard for me to understand.
Monday morning, August 8, 2011 - became busy! Christian had amazing nurses during her 112 days of her last year. August 8, 2011, I know God sent Jennifer to care for Christian. It was a crazy day. Christian had mutiple diagnostic procedures. That morning, I thought she had some kind of uterine, ovarian cancer. I actually think I called Chris and told him Christian had tumors in other organs. It was an awful day!!! I never showered, of course no make up, I had on old hospital scrubs, late in the day, Dr. Eric Gratias entered the room and sat down. I knew he was going to deliver news we did not want to hear. But actually, and thankfully,
Christian’s pathology had finally revealed she had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia inducing HLH (Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis). Honestly, I did not pay attention to the HLH. I had researched it a little earlier in the week when that was a possible diagnosis. Christian was ready to face it all head on and get on with her life. And she knew the treatment came first. Christian had a fairly intense senior year planned as a lot of GPS girls do. Dr. Gratias and the clinic social worker along with Chris and I went and met with the facuty and heads of school about Christian’s senior year. She was not happy to be left out of that meeting.
So, 5 years ago, my family’s world was turned upside down. Christian, was ready for the challenge and had all of her goals and just wanted treatment started, so she could go off to college even though her treatment would go on for more years. Christian had a plan and wanted it all to work. It would take me days to tell you the whole story.
Christian Moseley Bryant died in the PICU at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger on May 26, 2012. She was a patient in PICU for 42 days when she died. The day she left was actually an amazing day. I cannot begin to tell you how many doctors and nurses came to say farewell to Christian. Christian’s journey was very private. We kept it that way because Christian was very private. Christian was actually cancer free at the time of her death, very rare complications and secondary HLH took her young life. I will miss her forever. The pain of her loss will be with me and Chris and Bailey forever. But, we all strive to carry on her beautiful legacy.
I am always trying to focus on something positive! The Chrisitian Bryant Foundation was established to improve healthcare for children in our community, primarlily children with cancer. Christian’s obituary even implied that the dream was to build a new children’s hospital. Well, tonight and tomorrow and in the days to come, I cannot control my sadness, but I can celebrate in the fact that the New Children’s Hospital will be built. Most people have no idea, that we have and incredible Children’s Hospital in Chattanooga and that a huge and I mean a HUGE precentage of the patients overall are from Northwest Georgia. Since Christian died, my passion has been making things better at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger. The Christian Bryant Foundation has made some very generous donations over the years. I have worked closely with the Children’s Hospital Foundation for the past 2 years. I really wanted to see a Golf tounrnament or major fundraiser happen in the Northwest Georgia area. I have literally lost count of all the patients form the northwest georgia (Dalton) area that are treated at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger. Unlike adult oncolgy centers, Childrens in Chattanooga is part of the Children’s Oncology Group which is world wide. The treatment in Chattanooga is cutting edge. The golf tournament I have worked on for over 2 years is happening!!!!!! I wanted this tournament at The Farm because I so wanted my friends, neighbors and the community to understand that Children’s Hospital at Erlanger is OUR Children’s hospital.
Tomorrow is diagnosis day, It always will be diagnosis day, l want to forget it it, but I cannot stop thinking about it.
Thank you to all that have loved and supported and carried me and my family the last 5 years.
Love Deeply, Forgive Often and Find Your Blessings, Robyn
August 7, 2016 10:55 pm