Three months ago, my family received devastating news. Following what we thought would be a routine eye exam, an MRI confirmed that our child had a brain tumor. In the days that followed, our lives changed in many ways.
Some of those changes were that I quit my job, paused this blog and all my creative projects. But these changes seemed a small sacrifice to watching our fourteen-year-old endure multiple surgeries, complications, and a cancer diagnosis at a time when they should‘ve been attending a first homecoming dance and having a halloween costume party with friends.
Forty days in the pediatric ICU alters you in a way that I’m not sure I can yet write about, other than to say that it strips away everything but the need to survive — and the need to help your child. Hospital time is not real time, the lights and the beeping never cease, and the ceiling over the nurse’s station shines with tiny golden stars.
Through it all, our child smiled, laughed and chatted up the nurses on good days — asking how I was — to which my response would always be “If you’re ok, I’m ok.“ It sounds trite but it is the truth. Too soon, they’d be rolled away to another surgery, the entire fourth floor listening as they rapped Hamilton lyrics and crooned Newsies songs into a sparkly pink, blinged-out karaoke microphone.
This is the kind of kid Sadie has always been: positive, friendly, caring, creative, funny. But what I learned in the pediatric ICU was that they are incredibly strong, resilient — and brave. What I learned is that I have a child who has the heart of a warrior and the soul of a peacemaker; in them I see both a lamb and a lion, a dove and a dragon.
Today, they are not always ok (and no, neither are we), but our family is navigating this journey with support from our medical team at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (where Sadie was accepted as a patient following surgeries, in December 2022), our extended family and friends.
To those of you who have already sent well wishes, gifts and donations — Thank You. We are truly grateful. Sadie always asks how they can thank every person who has sent something, and we tell them that thanks comes with her healing, and with a cure.
If you would like to follow Sadie’s progress and support them with well wishes during cancer treatments, please go to their webpage at Caring Bridge and request access by sending your email. I have set this up as a place where we can continue to connect with our extended family and friends around the world and so our child can receive the support they need on our road to a cure. Here’s the link:
May your 2023 be surrounded with joy from family, friends and the people, places and things you love. We step forward into the new year with challenges ahead but hope in our hearts. Thank you, as always, for visiting my blog and supporting the arts — and for your care & concern for Sadie & our family.
In Verses & Song always, through every storm —
Stacie & the Eirich family