October 21, 2015

by Robyn Bryant

October 21, 2015


Today, 4 years ago, was the first Team CMB event and it was so huge. Looking back at the pictures today brought back good memories, but it also made me sad...there is so much emotion around the race for me. Every year has been so special and this year was truly incredible. I know that going forward we will have a team of people helping us build Team CMB and for that I am so thankful. 


When I left the race Sunday, I did not go home and take a nap. Instead I went to Children’s Hospital at Erlanger to spend time with a dear and special friend and her daughter. My friend’s daughter, that was diagnosed with cancer in April of 2015, has endured so much, she recently returned to Tennessee and had to be admitted to our Children’s Hospital late Saturday night. I have many friends that have or had children with cancer....but since Christian died, I have never spent more than 30 minutes or so in the room with another child with cancer. The last beautiful child I spent any length of time in her room was Grace Guerrero. Today is the 1st anniversary of her death. Over a year ago, her Mama ask me to come to PICU and talk with them. I stood in her PICU room and talked openly and honestly with her Mama and Daddy. I am so blessed that they invited me in and I am thankful for Crystal and Noe, they are both examples of parents who love deeply! So, Sunday afternoon, I spent about 3 hours with my sweet friend, that I love so much in the hospital room, with her beautiful 17 year old daughter. I am thankful for the timing of the visit. There was a specialist there for a consultation...but I met this specialist when he was a senior pediatric resident. I gained a new respect for him Sunday. I talked to him before he ever entered the room, I had questions. I was very impressed by his exam and his concern and compassion. I ask more questions while he was in the room and wanted to make sure this beautiful young lady’s Mama understood the plan, so I ask him to repeat and clarify everything. I went into NURSE mode. It was a good feeling because, I know I am still a good nurse under all my anxiety about taking care of patients again. But the bottom line is, I am a cancer Mama and I always will be, so my approach to everything medical is different now. I need to tell you, my friend ask mutiple, mutiple times if I was okay while I was there and when she walked in the hall when I left. She is very sensitive to the fact that my child did not survive. And I am always cautious about my presence, I never want anyone to feel awkward. 


I returned to Children’s Hospital at Erlanger yesterday morning pretty early. I delivered Julie Darling’s donuts to PICU and Children’s 300 and then took a gourmet dozen to my sweet friend. When I eased open the door, she was sitting close to the door, her beautiful daughter was asleep. We did not talk much yesterday, I talked with her daughter’s nurse, who was also Christian’s nurse - I have not talked to her in ages and loved catching up...Yesterday morning, I had someplace to be early and could not stay long with my friend, but I knew I was acting odd and distracted to her....Later in the day I realized, I am starting to learn my limitations...I had few flash backs yesterday morning, nothing bad, but it just made my chest tight and my heart hurt and I thought about it a lot. My biggest fear was being able to communicate this all to my friend without hurting someone who has been hurt by so many. All communication was good today and my fellow cancer Mama and I are good. 


Now, here is the main purpose of all of this....Childhood Cancer is so horrific! Chris and I had each other. Many parents are all on their on...no spouse, maybe a boyfriend/girlfriend or fiance...but they are so alone! I had so many friends to call and ask for stuff and they never ask questions, they just did what I needed.  99% of Childhood cancer families in our Region have NO ONE.... how are we going to help, how can we make a difference? If you are interested in making a difference on a very small, medium, in between or large scale, send me a message! You can always text me too...706-217-7995.  Please consider being the Change and makeing a difference for our local Childhood Cancer families. And remember, Love Deeply, Forgive Often and Find your Blessings! - Robyn