He’s Still All Boy

Steve McKinionUncategorized4 Comments

By the time Harrison finishes he will have spent more than a quarter of his life in treatment for cancer. More than one fourth of his days will have included taking pills, fearing infection, and fighting the anxieties associated with childhood cancer.

Harrison and one of his biggest heroes: big brother Lachlan

Harrison and one of his biggest heroes: big brother Lachlan

For some families we have met that number increases dramatically. Some children have spent that portion of their lives in the hospital for treatment. At least Harrison’s fight is spent mostly out of the hospital. We know parents who have had to quit jobs to move from more remote parts of our state to Chapel Hill. Other parents have to leave their cancer kid in a hospital room for days at a time because they have to work. When we have been in-patient, parents have, on more than one occasion, asked us to check in on their little one so they could go home or go to work.

While Harrison will have spent much of his childhood with this dreaded disease, we know there are situations much worse. And we are trying to make life as normal as possible for him. Some kids can’t run and play. At least Harrison can still do most of hte things he did before. And, amazingly, do them nearly as well.

I’ve been surprised by so many things since Harrison was diagnosed. But the biggest surprise has been Harrison’s resilience. Just dealing with a cancer diagnosis is enough to send many people I’ve known into depression. But add to that a stroke, failed remission, fungal infection, a deadly case of the flu, several unknown infections, and pretty soon you start to ask, “How much can a kid take and still keep ticking.”

But as Harrison went off to basketball camp for the second day it struck me like a ton a bricks. He may be a boy with cancer, but he’s still all boy.

4 Comments on “He’s Still All Boy”

  1. It is reading about children like Harrison who face adversity with so much strength that makes me realize that the health issues I have been dealt are minor. Lymes disease is no big deal when compared to Harrison’s fight. Hang in there Harrison! You got this!

    1. Linda,
      I think we all have our own unique struggles. What I continue to learn is that those struggles are real, and even if they do not appear to be as “major” as someone else’s, they are not to be discounted. We can learn from one another, be encouraged by one another, and inspire one another. Your fight is different than Harrison’s, and it is a big deal. I applaud you in your efforts and thank you for being an example to whomever sees you handle your disease with strength.


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