3 years ago today, I wrote my first ever post about Jana, our 11 year old daughter, and asked for your prayers. 3 days after her diagnosis of cancer, I remember lying on the cot in her hospital room in the terror-filled wee hours of the morning. To block out the fear and doubt that crept in as darkness settled in the hospital, I tried to focus on the wonderful memories of our first-ever trip to CSA. My wonderful tan and fading pedicure reflected hours of the peace and tranquility spent on the beaches of Jamaica just the week prior.
As Russ slept in the Ronald McDonald house across the street, Holly and Emily stayed with friends at home, and Jana snoozed to the sound of the IV machine and monitors, I felt a need to log on to the message board. It was an overpowering urge...a “calling” to share our situation with people that I knew only by MB user names. How glad we are that I followed my instinct! How blessed we have been by the abundance of support and friendships that have developed out of this group of “strangers”.
Last week, I re-read the thousands of messages posted to the MB throughout our 8 month journey. I was touched once again by the goodness of people who took time to support and encourage us. Right from the beginning of our journey, we had a clear message from the medical professionals and it’s one in which I strongly believe: Attitude IS everything! The MB gave us an outlet to express our concerns, prayer requests, celebrations, and stories throughout Jana’s journey. Through the message board, our family gained strength and hope. In turn, we were able to maintain an attitude which gave us the stamina and focus and gave Jana the HOPE and positive attitude required for this battle. The bottom line is this...THANKYOU for your help in saving our daughter’s life!
I have pondered how or why this message board is so powerful...how is it that people can meet through this MB, feel like family, and then maybe even travel hundreds of miles to meet in person and become like family? I don’t know why, but I sure am happy that we have been blessed with our MB family. As I try to explain it to friends and family—they are skeptical. How is that you can meet people over the internet and consider them to be family? Why would you travel to meet and see strangers that you only have met through a message board? They don’t get it. I just smile ‘cause I KNOW and I BELIEVE.
So, here we are three years later, and we have a happy, healthy daughter that has given us so much joy and laughter. Although I can’t understand why this happened to Jana and that is OK. What a do know, though, is that through our struggles, we have been blessed with an appreciation for life and laughter and our family has grown and strengthened in so many ways. An added bonus is that we have a new set of MB friends that we consider family.
Thank you Couples. Thank you Randymon and staff for allowing this MB to build a network of support and friendship. This week, I am feeling sentimental. In my mind, I hear over and over again the words a parent can’t fathom—“Your daughter has cancer.” But, I don’t cry. I smile, because we conquered it and we are better because of it. We have been so blessed and we are so grateful. Thank you, our MB family.
I think in many ways it is us who should be thanking you. You opened up your life and the life of your family to total strangers. You allowed those of us who followed Jana's journey the privilege of being able to share the highs nad the lows. thi stook a considerable amount of courage and trust.
You are right when you say that people are skeptical that you can meet people on something like the MB and feel that they are friends and family. You're also right we can just SMILE and KNOW.
I know it is true because I was one who travelled over a thousand miles to meet someone who I had only spoken to by way of MB or email. When I booked my flight my wife was a little skeptical and when I told people I was going to fly almost half a day, just for a weekend, to meet someone I have never met some looked at me as I was insane. They couldn't understand the bond.
I have to admit the closer it got to the day of my trip part of me wondered why I was doing this. To almost invite yourself to visit people you have never met took far more courage than I thought I had. What if these people were nothing like they seemed on the MB, who knew.
From the moment I summoned the courage to walk up the driveway I felt like I was with family and friends. I was blessed to meet one of one of the finest familes one could hope to meet. Meeting Lisa and her family was one of the most powerful moments of my life. Within minutes it was like we had known each other for ages.
The most memorable moment was meeting Jana. What an incredible young lady. Some who have gone through as much as she has would give up on life or turn resentful. None of these words and ideas describe Jana. She is a fantastic person. She is full of life, loving, caring, and as Lisa mentioned Attitude, well she has attitude to spare. Just seeing her and talking to her gives a person hope. Nothing is going to stop this young lady.
I would like to offer my thanks to all at Couples for having MB as part of their website. It has given me the opportunity top meet a wonderful family and to meet a young lady who could many of us older people a thing or two what is important in our lives. Whenever I feel the world crashing in on me all I have to do is stop in think about Jana and all she has gone through and suddenly my problems don't seem so overwhelming any more.
Although I have only been a MB'er for about a year and a half, I have always looked forward to the "Jana Updates" and marveled at your strength as a mother. You and Russ are truly blessed with a beautiful daughter.
Thank you for allowing us into your lives.Your journey has been a tough one. However, your courage and faith has shown through at every turn.You and your family have come through to the other side and it is so reassuring to see that good things can happen to good people.So happy for all of you.
Dear Rls/Lisa, Thank you for allowing us to share your journey! All of us who've watched for your posts and Jana updates are so thankful and happy things turned out positive. Jana 'oozes' healthy & happy. God certainly has been watching over you...
It is you your family that I want to thank. Seeing how positive you stayed even in the hard times was an inspiration. I'd cry and laugh along with you when reading the updates. It felt as if we were visiting over a cup of coffee. Thank you for letting me be a part of your life and inspiring me to be a better person.
As one who has been around awhile, I clearly remember the very beginnings of the Jana's journey. We all shed tears and laughter as the journey unfolded. Prayer was offered in many places and many ways. If, in some small way, our presence was a help, if only to have a place to express fear, frustrations, and to vent in general, then we are all glad to have been here to listen and offer some small encouragement.
As the news became better we rejoiced and thanked God. After all the crisises we loved, and still do, to keep up with with an active teenager.