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Normal

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Let me carry you, Baby Doll
Rest
Let me kiss your hair before it’s all gone

I wish we could be normal again
Right now

New Washington Normal School

Let me do this for you–
I’ll take the medicines,
The needle-stings,
The pain
I’ll wear the scary mask and hold very still so you don’t have to

Give me the radiation!
Give me the chemo!

I’ll stay home while you go out and
Play wherever you want, with all the normal kids
Among the germs and viruses
Without hand sanitizer

Take my body to protect you
Take all of my blood
Whatever you need
Take my stomach
Give me your nausea and constipation
Take my strong legs
And run

If one of us must be sick, let it be me

Even when God says no
I’ll still try to take it all away

Let me carry you, Baby Doll

10/17/09

My four-year-old daughter, Audrey, is undergoing treatment for T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She is in remission now and doing very well, but still has over two years of treatment ahead of her.

Audrey and I spent eight-and-a-half hours at the hematology/oncology clinic last Wednesday, and over two hours at the radiation oncologist’s office on Thursday. At home she has to take a chemo pill, which she hates, and my husband and I have to give her an injection of another chemo drug at bedtime.

After Audrey went to sleep last night, I couldn’t get rid of all these feelings and I couldn’t stop crying. I want to honor her journey and support her, but I still selfishly wish I could do it all for her or erase this experience completely. This poem isn’t meant to negate what I said in “A Letter to My Daughter’s Cancer.”

I’m still mourning the loss of our old, “normal” life, and sometimes I still feel angry and helpless even though I know we’re surrounded by nothing but angels. I continue to thank God for every single day, and I thank all of you who are praying for us and sending your love.

You can follow Audrey’s progress at CarePages: https://www.carepages.com/carepages/roth377 (You may get a stupid security warning–I hate those! You’ll have to create an account before you can see Audrey’s page.)

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