The last week has been a crazy ride on an emotional roller coaster for our family that began the day before Thanksgiving. I guess I knew but did not really know how bad the surgery, risks and recovery would be for my oldest daughter. While I completely appreciated the honesty, it was hard to hear about your baby girl having a high chance of being paralyzed or even worse, not making it through the surgery at all. As much as I wanted to cry I knew that I couldn’t. There were 4 little girls next door I would have to face in a few minutes that would have known we got horrible news about their big sister if daddy walked in upset. The rest of that day was really hard but as my wife and I always do, we pulled together to make sure we made many more happy memories, just in case.
We had an amazing, fun Thanksgiving with all the kids each making several things for dinner. Friday, Cheyenne a.k.a. BumlePrime got a special delivery from Santa that contained her Picachu pajamas she really wanted. Cheyenne began to worry that maybe she wouldn’t be home or feel well enough for Christmas so on Saturday we celebrated Chey’s Christmas with lots of presents and a full Transformers stocking, just in case.
Chey was a little down and didn’t seem to have her usual smile. She understood the surgery might rob her of the one thing she feared losing…her ability to move. I was concerned about her mindset moving forward. Our family would have never guessed that a few days later there would be such an outpouring of support, love, encouragement and prayers from our local community for Cheyenne that completely lifted her spirits and more importantly, made her believe she could defy the odds again. On the way to school while we were talking about how many people were thinking of her, Cheyenne said the greatest thing to me: “Daddy, I’m going to be ok”
I have no doubt that Cheyenne will be ok, no matter the outcome. The girl has overcome so much in her 15 years and always adapts. The upcoming surgery will be the biggest challenge Chey has ever faced. It will be extremely dangerous, painful and life altering to everyone. This is the time of year when Cheyenne and her sisters should be worried about many other things, not this. I try to block out my pain, stay strong and keep smiling so the girls won’t worry…it is harder for me this time around.
I guess I struggle with the fact that it could have all been avoided so easily. I don’t understand how Cheyenne went 3 years without a simple scan to monitor her other brain tumor. Insurance would have paid for it and the new tumor would have been detected when there were easy treatment options. I don’t understand how she was abused and neglected for years while so many people turned the other way. I don’t understand how the courts and departments that are suppose to protect children did nothing while Cheyenne suffered. I don’t understand how money can be more important to a state than a child’s life. I don’t understand a lot of things that have led up to Cheyenne being down to a last ditch “hail mary” surgery to save her life. It is all so unfair to her…