Special Love Blog Contributor Shari Fisher
The COVID 19 pandemic is reminiscent of another time when I felt isolated and I worried about the future, health and finances. My daughter, Julia, was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor when she was six. As she faced what we hoped to be lifesaving surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, our entire family was plunged into an overwhelming whirlwind of hospitalizations, clinic appointments, medications and home health care along with financial worries and fears of the unknown future. We were removed from cherished friends, routines and activities as we cleaned and sanitized and washed our hands.
During this anxious time, Special Love found us with a community of other families to share all of the joys and sorrows, griefs and triumphs, hopes and dreams of the childhood cancer battle. Special Love’s unique focus on providing peers for each member of our family, parents, siblings (BRASS camp) and children with cancer (Camp Fantastic, teen and young adult programs) was vital to alleviating the isolation and loneliness we were all experiencing. Special Love and the power of connection pulled us through our family’s childhood cancer journey.
While the COVID-19 crisis parallels the childhood cancer experience in some ways, for families of children with cancer it complicates and intensifies every aspect of an already overwhelming, isolating experience. As a parent I can’t bear to think of having to navigate both crises at once.