Raising Parker is no hard task. He makes it easy. He's easy going, caring about others, and responsible. I didn't even have to tell him to do his homework. He would just come home and do it. He even started doing his own laundry at 11 years old! He was an energetic kid, always out riding bikes or playing a sport. He loved to shoot hoops in the driveway or play goalie using the soccer net in the backyard. He'd laugh at me when I made poor attempts at getting the soccer ball past him or when I acted like I was Peyton Manning throwing him a Hail Mary pass. We won't even talk about when I would shoot a basketball and not even hit the rim. "AIR BALL," he'd laugh.
Then something changed. He seemed more lethargic than normal. He wasn't going outside as much. I chalked it up to the weather changing. Instead of doing his schoolwork, I'd find him in his room sleeping. We got him a new, more comfortable bed thinking he wasn't sleeping well at night. I also thought it might just be a junior high/teenage thing. Now I can't help but wonder if it was the cancer. I obviously know the pain he had was from the cancer. His limp, the swelling...all signs. Thankfully I paid attention to those signs.
In the "ABOUT" section, you can read how we found out Parker had cancer. It seems like it took so long to find out what was wrong, but everything from December 6th until now has flown by. It still doesn't seem real. When I say my son has cancer, it's just like the words flow out without meaning. I don't let myself feel the words when I say it. Cancer is such a BIG, SCARY, UGLY word. It's terrifying. The news we have received since hearing it was cancer has been good news. Good news in regard to the terrible news. It has not spread. Ewing's Sarcoma tumors generally respond well to chemotherapy. The swelling in his leg has gone down a tremendous amount. So, I focus on the good. Although cancer is big and scary and ugly, I choose to ignore those factors. Cancer isn't going to take over our lives and make them ugly. No. We're going to laugh and smile. We're going to be positive and upbeat. We're going to do this together. Parker and his family, his friends, his hospital team, and people around the world who are praying for a kid that they've never even met. Cancer better be scared of us. Leonardo, as Parker named his tumor, is going to die.
I watch him sleeping peacefully in the hospital bed and think back to him sleeping in my arms when he was a baby. I remember how I vowed to always protect him. I would whisper in his ear that I wasn't going to let anything happen to him. "It's okay. Mommy's here." I'd say to make things better. I wish I could have protected Parker from this, and I wish I could go back and do something so this never happened to him. When he came out of surgery, I was right there holding his hand saying, "It's okay. I'm here." And that's my promise now. I may not be able to protect him from everything, but no matter what happens, throughout the surgeries and chemo and everything scary, I'll be there telling him, "It's okay. I'm here." while holding his hand because he'll always be my baby.