Today marks three years since Tom and I heard the words, "We believe Olivia has cancer". I remember not believing what I was hearing. Olivia's first words were "Mom, am I going to die?". I assured her she wasn't, but what did I know? There was a rush going through me and I had to leave the room before I passed out. Nurses helped me sit down and get something to eat before I put a smile on my face and went back in the room with Olivia to power through whatever was being thrown at us.
For 1,095 days Olivia has been going through physical and emotional things that I, as an adult would never want to have to endure. At times it seems like yesterday, then at other times I wonder when it will be over. It will never be over. Our little family will always hold our breath on Scan Days, hoping we get another 3 months knowing our girl is cancer free. It sucks, but in some way we find it as a blessing. Olivia is mature beyond her years, her presence can encourage and inspire anyone and her heart for taking the pain away from other childhood cancer patients and their families is incredible!
As much as we wish this day didn't happen 3 years ago, we chose to celebrate! We celebrate Life....the life that Olivia has, as hard as it was for her to get to this point. We celebrate Family....our family is closer because of the last three years. We celebrate Love...the love we have for families in our situation and the love Olivia has for other children struggling with cancer and other illnesses. We celebrate Strength...the strength Olivia has showed physically, emotionally, and spiritually is something we never knew one person could have. We celebrate Prayer...Olivia and our family have made it this far because of the prayer of family, friends and total strangers. Thank you for being with us for the last three years! Your love, support and prayer are more than we deserve!
Today, we hope you can find a reason to celebrate and "Liv it Up...Life is Short!"
When your daughter has been in isolation for 8+ months and she says she wants to go to Florida.....you figure it out and go to Florida! Last week I had planned to take all 3 kids to Clearwater Beach (Olivia’s choice) for 5 days by myself. Olivia was looking forward to enjoying the beach, ocean, family time, but most of all Clearwater Marine Aquarium! She’s been there once but couldn’t wait to go back!
As if we don’t have enough examples to share of God working in our lives, it was forecasted to rain the entire week we were gone in Indiana. With Tom being a farmer, that means the chances of him being able to get in the fields and plant we’re slim.....so he joined us! We knew if the weather changed at home he’d head back before us. It didn’t so we spent 5 wonderful, sunny days together!
We had to be VERY careful of Olivia being in the sun. Ideally, she should get zero sun! That’s hard to do on a beach vacation so she wore a hat, a rash guard shirt and LOTS of sunscreen! Luckily there were some lovely little blue huts at the beach we could rent so that helped keep Olivia out of the sun.
Besides spending time at the beach, Olivia went parasailing with her dad and sister. She also had a dolphin encounter with Nicholas the dolphin at the aquarium. I could go on and on about the week but to sum it up....family normalcy! We spent time with each other, away from reality and just got to be us! Olivia spent so much time just quietly taking it all in! She would stand in the ocean looking at the water for an hour by herself. When I asked her what she does all the time out there she said “I just think about how God created all of this!” Let’s all take a moment every day to acknowledge what God has created!
-Megan (Olivia’s mom)
This month marks the 3 year anniversary of Olivia’s original cancer diagnosis. “Olivia has cancer” are never words we thought we’d EVER hear! She’s been through it all in the last 3 years, so close to not making it more than once! Today Olivia is doing great! Of course she has some minor issues that are residual effects from chemo therapy and other drugs but we’ll take that to have Olivia with us today!
One thing that got Olivia through the grueling bone marrow transplant process was the thought of taking a vacation with family to the beach! It is because of this that Olivia created Liv it Up with the opportunity to provide families with childhood cancer patients or children with other life threatening illnesses money towards something they enjoy doing together!
Olivia received excess money that was donated to help cover the cost of her bone marrow transplant. Luckily everything went as planned an extended (more costly) stay was not necessary! She WANTS to offer this money to other families to create family normalcy so families can forget about cancer for a few days!
If you want to apply or you know of someone that should apply go to www.livitup4kids.com and click the application link! We look forward to hearing from more families!
Liv it up
How are we Living it up these days? Find the latest and greatest on our blog!