Thursday, June 7, 2012
Praying for Crystal
Why? Seriously, why? That is all I am asking this morning as I shake my head. You have most likely heard me speak of Crystal in the past. She was one of 4 people that came to Joshua's wake that were complete strangers. There was a mom that had a child with CHARGE syndrome that had passed away as well and came to comfort and I would later meet up with again at the CHARGE conference and learn her full story and how she deals with grief, another father in the area that has a son with CHARGE that was trying so hard to hold himself together until I went to hug him and he started to cry saying "It could be any of our kids right there." And then there was Crystal. Crystal drove from Round Lake Beach with her daughter, Eva a CHARGEr, and was there to let me hug her daughter, see what Josh would be like in a few years, and to be of great support. Our friendship only grew from there as we met up again at the CHARGE conference in Bloomingdale, had a mom's night out dinner with a few other CHARGE moms, one being the other mom that had a child that passed as well as a few others that I still keep in good contact with. Crystal and I have e-mailed, talked, met up, gone out, and have been to each others kid's parties, etc. She has made so many wonderful photo montages of Josh, always set to perfectly picked out music, remembered him at her Bowling Fundraiser, and has come to every CHARGE run we've had. We met up in Orlando at the conference last year as well and her son Alex (who shares the same birthday as Jill) loved playing with Joey and Jillian, as did Bailey his brother, and of course Eva too. Dan works very hard for his family and still has been Crystal's glue through thick and thin. I spoke with him this morning and the numbing sound in his voice brought tears to my eyes. How can so much tragedy strike one family? Why do bad things happen to good people? All I can do is pray, there are no words, and that is something I know Dan knows too well, he is there for his wife, for his family, and waiting for what may come next. 2 years back, Crystal found out she had melanoma cancer in her leg. Undergoing surgeries and treatments. We had a celebration downtown with just the girls (my first time stepping into an American Girl store, as well as having a drink at the Hancock Observatory!) to celebrate the end of her treatments--June 12, 2011. (The bracelets shown in the one picture was from Crystal to all of us, as she made bracelets in memory and in honor of different CHARGErs and would sell them to raise money for the Foundation.) Shortly thereafter, cancer was back and she was starting treatments again. She had a few scares where she thought it was moving to her lungs, was back on treatments, and as recent as May 13 posted on her blog: This past week has been a pretty good week, for about 3 weeks after my last treatment I have had to have blood and platelets every week. BUT NOT THIS WEEK!!! This week I got news after my blood work and CT scan, my blood work was finally back to normal and the cancer is gone from my lungs and almost all gone from my leg and its still breaking down I am almost in complete remission. I got 4 weeks off of treatments, doctors, scans, blood work.....I am so excited and finally getting some energy back. I don't know every single detail so the specifics here are not exact, but from what I understand 2 weeks ago Crystal had a seizure. All seemed to be ok afterwards, and she was home. She was a bit forgetful during the week and according to Dan just seeming completely run down. After forgetting her words a bit more during the week Dan's mom asked her if she wanted to go to the doctor, and Crystal said no she wanted an ambulance. Apparently the cancer had moved to her brain and they have tried radiation but to no avail. Dan and Alex are at her side each day, and Dan said he is hoping to come home today with her and place her under hospice care where they will come in and care for her needs but so that she can be comfortable at home. I found some information out from Ellen, thank you!, and spoke with Dan this morning who said he would keep in touch as well as I will be sending meals, and may be heading out there to help with the kids or whatever is needed. All that we can do is keep Crystal and their entire family in our prayers. Please do so, and don't take a single person in your life for granted. Life is a gift, we never know how long we have or if we will see someone tomorrow, don't be afraid to say I love you, to give a hug, and to pray.