Today is Brinley year anniversary of being diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. A year ago today, we were in the hospital being told that cancer had invaded our daughter's body and she began her fight against it. It has been a long hard year. But she is winning. And we are happy.

Dear Cancer,

A year ago today you came into our lives, uninvited and unwelcome. You sought to take our precious daughter's life. Her name is Brinley, surely that doesn't matter to you, but she is our child, and we love her with a passion you will never know. You found your way into her body and began your attack. When we discovered you, you had silently invaded 80% of her bone marrow and would not have stopped until she was gone. The day we discovered you were waging war, we picked up our weapons and began fighting back with all our might. The war would take place in her 2 year old body, and although we would be behind her, she would be the one on the front line, and there was nothing we could do about it. SHE had to be the one to fight you. And fight you she has.

How dare you attack an innocent child like that. How dare you think you could sneak into our family and try to destroy us. You think you can just waltz into people's lives and tear children from their parents, fathers and mothers from their children, grandparents from their grandchildren. That is your sole purpose. To destroy. In the beginning, you succeeded. Brinley was miserable. We were miserable. Our children suffered. We were hanging by a thread trying to keep our family from falling apart. We would have paid with our own lives to have you away from our daughter. All the times we cried for what you were doing to her. All the times we have had to hold her down so that she could continue to fight you. All of the days we allowed poison to be injected into her body. All of the days we put it in there ourselves. All of the days you stole from her, when she should have been at the park and was in a hospital bed instead. All of the times we were filled with fury, wishing you were something tangible we could get our hands on. All of those moments, you felt like you were succeeding in you mission to destroy Brinley and our family.

One year has gone by, and we are STRONGER. Brinley is BEATING you. You have not succeeded in taking her away from us. We are HAPPIER. Happier than we have ever been, because we know what it is like to be miserable. You have NOT succeeded in making us miserable. You are failing. We know this battle is not over. We know there is fighting still to do. But we are winning. And you are losing. We are not naive in thinking this war can't turn around. We have seen it happen. We have stood by helplessly and watched you take the lives of beautiful, loving, innocent children and know it can still happen to our Brinley. If the tables turn, and you win the war and take her body, it will hurt so bad I don't know if I will be able to breathe. But she will be FREE from you. And you cannot follow her where she will go. You will never win. Even if you succeed in your mission to take her body. You will lose.

We also want you to know that there are people who are dedicating their lives to stop you. Good people who want you out of the world. They are constantly improving their weapons so that you will be defeated EVERY time you attempt to invite yourself into someone else's body. And they are getting better at fighting you. And someday, you will be stopped.

Oh, how we have talked about how much we loathe you. How much you have put our Brinley, and us, and our other children, through. But the knowledge that you will lose, no matter what, is something we know without a doubt. So on your year anniversary as an unwelcome guest in our lives, we want you to know that in this world, you may think you win sometimes. You may succeed in ripping families apart. You may take children from loving parents who would do anything to keep them here. But you will not succeed in the big picture, because those families will be together again in a place where you are not allowed. And they will be HAPPY. Forever.

The mother of one of the children who is kicking your butt,

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This video was put together by my online support group for cancer parents.