Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing journal entries and excerpts from the book!

Kari's Journal

May 29, 2010

“It looks like leukemia.”

“OK.” That was all I could say to the doctor. I briefly glanced back at my mom who was with me in the ER. The doctor went right into the lab values, what was high, what was low, what the normal ranges were, which I didn’t hear a word of. I was just thinking, “How am I going to tell Emily? She’s only five. She’s not going to understand.”

Chapter 1: Only the Strongest Kids are Picked to Fight Cancer

[When we heard the diagnosis,] Emily put her little hand over mine and leaned into me. I put my arm around her waist tenderly, remembering all those bruises, and searched my mind for what I could say that would soothe her… “You know, only the strongest children in the world are picked to fight cancer,” I told her, “And you’re going to beat it, no matter what.”

I had said the wrong thing. Suddenly Emily looked confused and scared, like she was about to cry. No one had said the word cancer to her before it came out of my mouth. She was fighting her tears just as I was fighting mine. I had thought I was the one who needed to be strong for Emily, but I recognized then that I had it wrong. Sometimes Emily needed to be strong for me. I drew her a little tighter to me.

“Being afraid doesn’t mean that you are not brave,” I said. I was stroking her hair slowly, using that rhythm as my anchor to the world, and my tears receded. “We will all cry. We can all cry together…”

Watch the video where Tom and Kari discuss what it was like to hear this devastating diagnosis.

Only the strongest children are picked to fight cancer meme
Being afraid does not mean you are not brave meme with sky and yellow flowers as background

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