Sometimes the Battle Picks You

The Taoist wisdom of my five year old son who is discovering and exploring opposites… “Papa, the opposite of forward – is backward… The opposite of fast is slow… The opposite of outside is inside…”

He said these things to me out of the blue as he and I drove to the urgent care facility tonight. We have severe colds we would normally just ride out. But we’re about to get courses of antibiotics. We’ll also be getting flu shots because even though that sauce is pretty weak this year, it’s better than nothing. And this year I’ll be looking for every edge I can find. Every. Single. Edge.

He can’t possibly understand how relevant those words are in our lives right now… Can he? He knows a few things but doesn’t understand their implications yet… Does he?

He knows his 11 month old baby sister Danika is his favorite little girl in the world. And he knows, because we’ve started talking about it, that he’s not going to be able to give her hugs for a while if he has anything that feels like a cold. He knows he’ll have to move a little slower with her before he jumps in close for a hug-n-a-smooch, just to be safe. Because we can’t risk an infection right now.

He knows Danika has a problem inside her tummy that’s going to have to be removed to the outside. He knows that it might look like she’s becoming tired or getting sicker before she gets better in a few months. Or maybe a year. He knows that’s almost how long his sister has been alive so far.

Maybe he gets it. Maybe more than we do?

He doesn’t understand chemo therapy. He might understand what a surgery is; he’s heard some stories about some of mine.

He has no idea what a Wilms Tumor is. Or what it’s like to have two of them – one growing from each kidney. And I’m not sure he has a concept for what cancer is, exactly. Or what Stage 5 means.

But he knows his baby sister has it. He knows we’re going to go backward in order to move forward for a while. We’re going to slow way down and think, move smoothly, before we can move faster again. He knows that in a couple of months, Danika is going to have a surgery so that the problem inside can be brought to the outside. And he knows we’ll keep working the puzzle until it’s really complete, which is going to be years after it’s started. He understands that we keep working the puzzle. He doesn’t really understand what five years feels like.

Then, again… He is five, after all. Maybe he does understand what it means to spend a lifetime working a puzzle.

It’s what we do here. Danika knows it, too. And she’s about to be immersed in these lessons fully.

Your first war, littlest one. Sometimes the battle picks you and avoiding it is not an option. Your soul will be made stronger in this fire. We’ll be with you every step of the way. And we’ll all be made stronger for it.

Today, we prepare. We attack at dawn. We fight… Here.

12 thoughts on “Sometimes the Battle Picks You

  1. Oh no, Doug! I’m so sorry! I pray peace and positivity to you and yours. Good energy and good intentions. She is so young to battle cancer. It’s such a long hard road. Good thing she has such wonderful parents to hold her hands and show her the way through it.

  2. Doug and family, I send love, healing, light and prayers. I am so sad and sorry. Thank you for sharing a beautiful piece of writing with us at a time like this. Please reach out when you need any kind of help. Thinking of all of you as you go through this, Margie Heiler

  3. Doug,
    My prayers go out tor your beautiful daughter Danika, as well as to you and your family during these times…. Please know as you begin this fight; I will continually have you all in my thoughts.

  4. Dear Doug and Family, Know that you have many people including our big community who love you and share your pain and will continue to pray for all of you as you go through this heartbreaking journey. Lots of good energy and love continue to come your way. xoxoxo

  5. What a horrible attack on your family. Wilms tumors, any cancer really, is so very scary. I’m encouraged that they found it in her so young, it has a much better outcome. Not knowing her exact histological type of tumor(s), or the individual staging of each of her tumors themselves, it’s hard to give good advice, except to say…although it’s a very tough process with chemo and then surgery and all the risks, it has a very good prognosis overall these days. Like in the ninety percentile, which is so very inspirational. This is what we hope and pray for, that Danika is blessed with the ideal outcome. That your family goes through this with hope, dignity and love. Please let us know if there is anything we can do. Prayers will be abundant. Love Dina and Matt

  6. Our prayers and thoughts are with you and Natalia we will send loving healing energy all along the way to your entire family and know that your fight is ours and the engagement is now- we fight alongside you – now

  7. So very sad for this very challenging situation. I will keep you all in my meditations.
    Seeing Danika surrounding and immersed in Light and Love, healing, cleansing and renewing each and every cell in her body.

    We are holding our Love around Danika and her dear family.

    Love, Sabrina

  8. Doug & Natalia: My heart just breaks reading about your beautiful daughter.
    Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Laurie & the TCI Community

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