Kathryn’s adorable face and cheeks just make you want to squeeze them! Her eyes hold a vitality and joy that we always want to see in our kids’ faces. At 2 years old she is battling cancer, has had a bone marrow transplant, and will need another.
Her parents main concern is understanding her pain and being able to address it. Babies and toddlers can’t describe what they are feeling, and it’s imperative to stay ahead of their pain and issues, both physical and emotional. Having a child with cancer also makes it difficult to parent them. It’s hard to know if a child is being a picky eater, acting out, or in so much pain that is the only way they can act. Do we discipline our children the same or do we let things slide? If we do that, will our child become spoiled? It’s impossible to know the right answer, but we can only listen to our child and follow our instincts.
For Kathryn, the psychological aspects of cancer, fear of what is coming, port being accessed, or lying still for scans, etc. often are worse than the pain she experiences from a procedure. She doesn’t understand why this is happening to her, so helping her through those feelings is necessary so that she not only heals physically, but also emotionally.
There is no right or wrong with raising a child with cancer. We can only do the best we can under extremely stressful circumstances. Each parent knows what works best for their child, and as much as we question if we are doing it right, each way is unique.
Kathryn’s family gets much of their strength and support from their relationship with Jesus Christ. Their faith has helped them through this difficult journey. It doesn’t mean it’s easy, but it does mean that they have peace and hope.
They appreciate all the help and resources that various foundations have provided for them. They could not have made it this far without all the support.