When your heart is broken by a kid dying on screen.

It started in early July of 2014, before my son was diagnosed with FAP. The girls bought the book The Fault in Our Stars. If you haven’t read the book, its about some teenagers who are living life with cancer, and of course there is a kid dying on screen. That book set the tone for the scariest day of my life.
We were completely blindsided by my son’s diagnosis of FAP. FAP is known as a type of Hereditary Colorectal Cancer. When the doctor came to talk to us after my son’s first colonoscopy and edoscopy, he was white as a sheet. Told us immediately not to look anything up on the internet and to let him find the best place for my son because this was very serious and at minimum he would need his colon removed.
 This was the first case of FAP that the doctor had ever seen in a teenager. Its normally caught after a much older adult has colorectal cancer.
As my grandmother would have said, “I dropped my basket.” I lost it. I was inconsolable.
I tried to go to the bathroom to clean my face and get myself under control so that I could see my son when he woke up. More things kept coming to my mind, like my mother and her brothers and sisters who all died from cancer. How my mother had died not 2 year before in the same hospital that I was standing in right then. How I didn’t have a parent to guide me through this.
 How that teenager from the book died. How the other teenagers and the parents reacted to each other when someone had cancer. It was burned into my mind.
 A few days later my daughter went to see The Fault in Our Stars at the movies, even though I begged her not to do it. I don’t think things really connected with her yet that her brother could have cancer and was still in the hospital with this horrendous diagnosis. I think it would mean more to her now. Maybe.


Fast forward to January 2015.

So I haven’t had Netflix forever like a lot of people, and I love series whether its books, movies or TV shows. I also love Young Adult books, movies and TV shows, so I get along really well with 2 tween/teen daughters.
 Yeah, I found it. The next TV show series that I just had to watch. Dance Academy. Sounds like it should be a pretty upbeat little show. The show is about the best ballet school in Sydney Australia, and the newest class of students.
 We get into season one, and I mean “we” as me and the girls get deep into it and we realize that Sammie has a great likeness to one of my sons. Not the one that’s been diagnosed with FAP, but his brother who is 15. Its hard to say what is similar, but mannerisms, the smile is the same maybe some other things. But anyway we fell in love with this kid.
 Some of you may already know where I’m going with this, but by the end of Dance Academy Season 2, this was everyone’s favorite kid. Everyone loved him. Reminded me so much of my boys. They are everyone’s friend. Sammie got into the “Olympics” of ballet, and on his way there…. BAM! He’s another kid dying on screen.

 The Fault in Our Stars Broke My Heart


I cried! I cried so hard! The kids on the show cried. The next episode we cried. It was horrible.
By this time, I was a few episodes ahead of my girls. My step daughter had to return to her mom’s house. Then it was the next day and my daughter walks out of her bedroom sobbing!! I said “Sammie?” and she just nodded her head and buried her face in my chest.
 After having my son diagnosed with this rare genetic disorder, and not knowing if my other two kids have it also, I’m always waiting for that BAM! to come again. Maybe even the big one. Everywhere I look, every screen whether its Facebook, TV, a Kindle book that I may be reading, there seems to be a kid dying. Real kids. Not real kids. They all hurt. They all scare me to death.
 I have to remind myself daily that God’s a genius and he knows what he’s doing. So far everything has worked out amazingly well with my son, even with minor set backs after his first surgery. I keep saying to myself “At least he doesn’t have cancer.” Or “We caught it in time to save him.”
 My heart goes out to all of the mothers that can’t say those things about their kids. I know that God has a bigger plan, but I know it can’t be easy being in your shoes.

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