The Craziness That is Me...Megan

Frequently moving perfectionist often driven to Crazyville by moving, motherhood, and...myself. Lover of music, homemade things, and Oklahoma.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Maria Anna

I have a friend named Trish.  I don't get to see her or talk with her often but I think of her almost daily.

Trish and I used to work together and I remember when I met her...she was happy all the time and had such a beautiful smile on her face in spite of any stressful situation she may be in.  She is still that way today.

I remember when her husband proposed to her.  It was right around the time that Farm Boy proposed to me.  And I remember how happy and excited she was. 

We swapped wedding info and talked and planned together.  She got married the weekend before I did and we both attended each other's weddings.  Her's was Greek, mine was Catholic.  Both were lots of fun!

I remember her saying that she and her husband Peter wanted to have children right away and I remember thinking how brave they were to just jump right in with both feet. 

I remember when she found out she was pregnant...she was ecstatic!!

And then little Maria Anna surprised everyone on July 29th, 2006 coming 7 weeks early.  She was so very, very tiny but she grew stronger and went home with Trish and Peter after just 3 weeks in the NICU.   Even from the start she was showing the world who was boss.

All was right with the world until Maria's six month check-up. 

Maria's doctor had some concerns so he did some blood work followed by a spinal tap and bone marrow test.  The test concluded her doctors fears and precious little 7 month old Maria was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Pre B on February 23, 2007.

Tragedy, horror, and utter heartbreak.

Maria received one treatment after the other until March 3, 2008 when she rang a bell at the Jimmy Everest Center to tell the world that she was cancer free!


It was the miracle that everyone had been praying for and it brought joy and elation to Trish and Peter!

Everyone was so touched by Maria and her story that she was named the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society - Girl of the Year 2008

Right around this time I found out that I was pregnant with Q-Tip and very quickly began feeling those strong bonds between a mother and child.  It was unlike anything I had ever known.

But one month later in April of 2008 tragedy struck again...Maria's cancer was back and it came with a vengeance.   

The difference in my life at the time was that I was now a mother.  And I couldn't help but put myself in Trish's shoes.  Even though I knew that I wasn't feeling a fraction of what she felt. 

More treatment and a bone marrow transplant followed.  But Maria had fought as long as she could and on September 20, 2008 she went to be with the angels. 

I know that the heartbreak I felt for Trish can not compare to the heartbreak she felt herself.  And that my friends scared me.  Because the heartbreak that I felt was absolutely crippling.  I could not and still can not fathom the amount of pain that Trish has gone through and goes through daily.

One month and nine days later Q-Tip was born.  It was a wonderful day that resulted in my baby being in my arms. 

But Trish did not have that and I thought of her. 

And I have thought of her and Maria almost daily since then. 

I think about how happy, healthy, and pain free Maria is now.  I think about what a beautiful angel she must be.  And I often wonder if she is Q-Tip's guardian angel looking down guiding and protecting her. 

But even still...Maria's short life and Trish's grace and courage impacted me more than I can ever say. 

I never realized until I became a mother myself how your heart can be ripped from your body and yet leave you breathing...to live on in spite of it.

Please pray for Trish if you get a moment...even to this day I know she can use all that she can get!

Thinking of Maria this day and always,
Megan

Maria Anna Arvanitis
July 29, 2006-September 20, 2008

P.S.  Trish had a baby boy in March of 2009.  His name is Alex and he is happy and healthy.  He's going to become a big brother in February of 2011 and Trish is going to have yet another boy to (chase) love and adore!

Mama's Losin' It

3 comments:

  1. Have no words to covey my feeling on this post...Really touching!! I just could not stop my tears flowing.

    http://dwivedi2326.blogspot.com/2010/09/i-love-being-teacher.html

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  2. This definitely made me tear up!! Thank you for sharing such a touching story. I'm so happy for your friend, that she has been able to have another child and now is looking forward to yet another bundle of joy =) Congratulations to your friend for being able to keep pushing on

    PS: I gave you an award on my blog =) Happy Friday!

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  3. Thank you Ashley and Tarunita! Trish will see your comments and deeply appreciate your thoughts!

    I'll be by to visit Ashley! Thanks!

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