Monday, March 1, 2010

I wish I may, I wish I might.

I would trade all the cool things that have happened to us as a result of melanoma in a moment for it to have never happened.  And that includes the Granddaddy of all Cool Things That Happen As A Result of Cancer, but we can't change that it happened so come on in Grandpa, get comfortable and don't mind the squeals and hugs and general party atmosphere.

Make-A-Wish came tonight!

This awesome couple, Robert and Rebecca, who volunteer for Make-A-Wish (would that not be THE coolest volunteer gig ever), came over tonight and asked that incredible question of Rachael, "If you could do anything, have anything, go anywhere, meet anyone, what would you want?"

We'll get to Rachael's answer in a moment and trust me folks... you won't want to miss this.

First though, I heard back from the study nurse today regarding the dosage of the interferon we've been giving her.  Let's just say, "Thank God Grandma and Grandpa invited the kids over to their house sooner rather than later and that Grandma is a nurse and reads labels of medications she is asked to administer."  Yes, Thank you God.  Grandma caught a mistake and again, THANK YOU JESUS, it did not disqualify Rachael for the study.  She has been getting her medication diluted by about 1/2 so I have some concern now about what the symptoms might look like next week when she is getting the correct dosage but at least we caught it early.  They will document the mistake and we will be allowed to continue.  So that was good news and thank you for your prayers!

Back to the fun stuff.  Last week I was contacted by Make-A-Wish to set up a meeting where they could interview Rachael.  Before the meeting I chatted on the phone with Rebecca and asked her if I needed to prepare Rachael in any way for this meeting.  I have not once mentioned Make-A-Wish to her because I didn't know if it would happen or what the process would look like.  So I told Rebecca tonight that I would just let them tell her why they were there and let it all be a surprise.  Sounds fun, right?

For those of you reading who have not raised a child and may one day, let me bestow a little free advice.  Never predict what your kids will do.  You will be wrong and feel dumb.  That's your PSA for the day.

So Robert and Rebecca, or R&R show up and we tell Rachael, "Guess what?  We invited them over for you and they have something cool to tell you."  She's all, "This is because of my cancer, right?"  Can't get anything past that one.

We get comfy and they start with some boring paperwork about who we are and what my middle name is and Marc pretty much answers all of these questions.  Except my middle name.  This somehow surprised both children that I could have such a thing.  Anyway, we get to the part of the interview where they ask Rachael about 20 questions about herself.

What's your favorite color?
Junk Food?

Wanna know her answer to that one?  "Hmmmm.  Wellllll.  Cans.  No!  Iron!  I like iron!"  Get it?  Get it?!  JUNK food?  She'd never heard the term before so she was thinking scrap metal.  Is that not hilarious?

So she starts wearying of the inquisition and is getting all, "I DON'T KNOW WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME ALL THIS STUFF?!" when they lay the Big Daddy of questions on her:

"If you could do anything, have anything, go anywhere, meet anyone, what would you want?"

"Heaven.  I want to go to heaven right NOW!"

My daughter's greatest desire, most heartfelt wish is to be with her family all together with her Jesus.  And seriously folks... let's get on it!  NOW!

It was a beautiful moment of laughter and you should have seen the looks on R&R.  Pretty sure they've never had that particular request before.  We explain to Rachael that though heaven would be the ULTIMATE wish, Make-A-Wish really doesn't have the ability to grant that one so what might her SECOND greatest wish be?

At this point she got super shy and almost weepy and just totally focused on how she just wants her whole family to be together and the only thing she can think of is heaven and oh please stop asking me because I'll just bury my head in my mommy's tummy and mourn the wish that you can't give me.

Then Marc pipes in, "OOOOHHH!   I KNOW!!  I KNOW!!!  I want to LIVE at Disney FOREVER!!"

Okay children.  We are really not getting the concept of Make-A-Wish here.

R&R are just sitting there sorta stunned and say, "We can finish the paperwork and you can talk about it and tell us in a few days.  It's no rush, really."  Rachael is just looking shell-shocked and practically whimpering and Marc won't stop with the whole moving to Disney FOREVER madness and so we're all, "Okay, let's just finish the paperwork."

After a bit though, Rachael starts to come to life again and when I whisper to her, "You need time to think about it," she whispers back, "No.  I want to go to Disney."  I say to her, "This isn't pretend baby.  These people really make wishes come true for kids who have cancer."  She seemed intrigued.  Honestly, I think it was all just a bit surreal and unbelievable and it wasn't computing.

They told us a little of what we can expect and one of the things we had no idea about is that a limo picks you up at your house to take you to the airport.  Let me just invite anyone in the area right now, if you want to come see us off for that party you are invited!  A limo!  Marc says, "Finally!  I have been waiting a LONG time to ride in a limo!"  I'm so glad for that kid that he finally is getting his due in life.  After R&R left we heard the kids talking in the bathroom and Marc's going on about the limo.  "Yeah, there's probably going to be a disco ball inside of it like the cash cab!"

After we had gotten all the business out of the way I asked Rachael to get her Beads Of Courage to show R&R and I told them all, including Rachael, a story....

When Beads of Courage featured Rachael on their blog we were contacted by Colin Smith, who is the Program Director.  He told me that he had been contacted by one of their artists who wanted to make Rachael a special bead and asked me if there was anything she might like.  I wrote back and told him that we were hoping she would get to make a wish and knowing her, she would want to go to Disney.  Maybe the artist could make something to commemorate that.

About six weeks ago I got a package in the mail from Colin and inside was a bead so beautiful I knew it would become one of Rachael's most treasured possessions.  We will not put this bead on her chain with her other beads but we will make it into its own special necklace for her.  She can wear that necklace when we go to Disney but tonight we wanted to share that moment when we gave it to her with R&R.

Yes, I would give it all back to have never learned how serious melanoma can be, but when I want to scream "CANCER SUCKS" we will have no choice but to see the blessings in it.  Thank you to people like Rebecca and Robert and Colin and Sharon (the BoC Artist) for blessing us.  You remind us that God is good.  All the time.

When they were walking back to their car tonight Rachael turns to us and says, "They are my Fairy Godparents!"


  1. I was crying at the first paragraph Danielle. How precious that she said she wants to go to Heaven for her make a wish. I love it! I am so sorry for all you have gone through with your family, but you are touching so many people and pointing them to Jesus through your experiences. Praying for a wonderful trip for you all, and for complete healing!

  2. Wow! What a beautiful spirit your daughter has! I am so glad to hear that she gets to continue on the trial. I am really excited for your family and the wonderful memories Make-A-Wish will bring.

    PS, gonna miss you two on the camp-out this weekend. Have a fun girls weekend! ~Stacye

  3. That's so awesome! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Your story is BEAUTIFUL, your daughter is BEAUTIFUL, cancer is UGLY, but you are making it a BEAUTIFUL thing through your sharing of your daughter's journey through it all. May God continue to bless you with the strength, courage, and grace to win this war! Have a "funtabulous" time at Disney!

  5. What a touching story. Thank you for sharing. May God bless your family and keep you in His loving arms during this difficult time. Praying for your precious baby girl...

  6. AWESOME!! I love that her ultimate wish is for you all to be together in Heaven!! I love that Jesus is so alive in her heart and that her dream is to be with Him!! I pray that you all will have a fabulous trip and that RAchael's body will be completely HEALED on this Earth!!

  7. So it's taken me almost 3 days to read your entire blog. Thank you! We have a long road ahead of us with our son but I am grateful to have a glimpse of what it could look like. Which Disney do you think they will send you to? We live right next to the one in California, and we have season passes. It would be fun to have my wife and kids say hello to another Melanoma Warrior.

  8. I do not know you or your family, but, after reading this precious story about Rachael and her experiences, even at her young age, she definitely has her priorities straight! God will truly bless her with a full recovery and she will come out on the other side with angel wings!!! What an inspiration she will be sharing her experiences and faith with other young children battling this horrendous disease. May God hold all of you in the palm of His hand and give you all strength to make it through.....and you will ~~ God bless you all......

  9. AWESOME! What a perfect bead and story. You really never know how kiddos will react but I love Rachael's first answer. :0) Too sweet.

  10. Bless her heart (and yours!)...Oh, if there was an organization that could make Heaven happen right the meantime, you are right-MAW is an awesome organization and WOULD be an awesome job!
    God bless you!