Emma the Brave is now twelve, loves her dog Gracie, homework (yes, it’s true) and her Kindle. Her phone is in fourth place and the family is in there somewhere. On February 12, 2018, Emma will have surgery, her fourth, to remove a tumor in the center of her spinal cord, not on, but in the spinal cord. With every surgery, the tumor has moved further and further down her spinal cord, bringing on new challenges. This time sadly our doctors have said paralysis is probable and if given the odds, it would be 50/50 chance that she’ll never walk again.
Emma always has a smile on her face and when you ask her how she is, she’ll enthusiastically say “Good!”. After school, after walking for six hours back and forth on campus, she would complain about back pain and her hip hurting. I’d give her an Aleve thinking that would work, but little did we know she was at a pain level of 10 or 12 with a tumor growing again in her lower back. I have such guilt for not knowing why she cried when she was two because we poured bath water over her head or why she’d scream when I buckled her into her car seat. So much guilt. As I write this, I am just sad for her and how unfair this has been for her entire 12-year-old life. Then, I think how lucky I am that she continues to work so hard to maintain her independence, how she doesn’t complain when she must go to physical therapy and that she loves school and keeping her A’s. She’s nervous about this next surgery, but doesn’t cry at the thought of not walking again. I don’t know why and get worried, but it’s because she is brave, young and although she has been through so much, she’s stoic. She humbles me.
Whatever the future may bring we will handle. I have my kid and that’s all that matters. Do you grieve for what she should be able to do? Of course, but when I think of her not being on this earth with me, my feelings are resolved and I keep moving. We will always keep moving.
Keri, Matt, Emma, Kate and Tom Lee
- Roy Buchanan
- Kati Travelle
- Lisa & Steve Jobson
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