Tuesday, March 1, 2011

a family that wears orange together, stays together.

It is weeks like this that really test a person, and not just a person, really, but a family. All the things that seemed important on Friday, all the things that seemed to matter, just don’t matter and not because they’re not important, but because they’re not nearly as important as I think they are.  What seemed like the end all, be all of my existence (hurricane vases vs footed vases, four inch pillar candles vs three ribbon tied candles, going to Sam’s Club vs going to Costco on Sunday morning) seems so meaningless now.  In the big picture, those things really don’t matter. At the beginning, middle and end of the day, what matters is family. 

This past week really put the Gordon family strength to the test and I think we passed with flying colors, if I do say so myself.  On Friday, Brandon’s cousin Kyle went to the hospital because he had a weird mass on his neck. A wide number of tests were run, options were weighed and on Saturday, after what seemed like an eternity from the first word of Kyle going to the hospital the day earlier, we learned that Kyle has leukemia – acute lymphocytic leukemia. He will be in the hospital for treatment for five weeks and then he will be on rest (not bed rest, something more like house arrest) for six to nine months. When they told Kyle everything going on, one of his biggest concerns was that he would lose his hair and he had wanted to grow it back out. I told Brandon that if not being able to grow his hair out is Kyle’s biggest concern, then that should be everyone’s biggest concern as well. 

Yesterday, I did quite a bit of homework on ALL. I read every article I could get my hands on. I read every cancer association’s website and every ALL blog I could find. Instead of trying to make sense of why this happened to Kyle or how this could happen to someone so strong, I decided it would be a better investment of my time to learn everything and get involved. If you know me, then you know when something like this happens, I make it a point to raise as much awareness as possible and to do anything I can to help. And while I can’t donate my bone marrow to Kyle, I can make leukemia awareness my newest cause. Turns out, the awareness ribbon color for leukemia is orange. I hate orange, but I love Kyle. So I ordered Leukemia Awareness bracelets for our entire family and I did some homework on Light the Night, which is the Leukemia and Lymphoma society fundraiser (think something comparable to Relay for Life). So October 15, 2011 we will be at Forrestal Village in Princeton, New Jersey participating in the Light the Night event… and then on October 22, 2011 we will be at Rockville Town Square in Rockville, Maryland for the Montgomery County Light the Night event. Go Team Kyle! Once I get a fundraising page set up, I will be sure to let everyone know! 

Monday we learned that Kyle will just need chemo, which sounds bad "just chemo" but considering we were originally told that he would need chemo, radiation and a bone marrow transplant, I will gladly take just some chemo.  Today we were told Kyle is up for visitors and would like to see us, so this weekend Brandon and I are going to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick to see Kyle. I will wear my orange with pride, because that’s what is important; Kyle is important.