I know it’s been quite awhile since I’ve sat down to write a blog post. We’ve had a lot going on as a family lately and I just haven’t been able to find the words.
This is a hard day for me every year. Today marks 3 years since Olivia went home on hospice care. It was 3 years ago almost to the moment that I was told my daughter wasn’t going to make it.
I will never forget that afternoon. Olivia had a scan in the morning to check for swelling in her brain. Then she had an EEG to see if her infantile spasms were improving. I went alone with her to the EEG and was then called up to meet with her doctor about results. It was during nap time so my husband had to stay behind at the hotel with our son, Wyatt.
I walked into that conference room with a pit in my stomach. I sat with Olivia in my lap and braced myself. Would Olivia need to have a shunt placed? Was she going to be okay? And then in walked Olivia’s oncologist, her neurologist, her primary care nurse, her nurse practitioner and a social worker. Immediately I felt like throwing up. Normally only her oncologist came in to deliver scan results. They sat down around me and that’s when Dr. Foreman said the words, “I am so sorry but the scan results are not good. Olivia is going to die.” He proceeded to tell me that her cancer had exploded in growth in just the last 3 weeks since her previous scan. There were no treatment options left. They began discussing hospice care and whether or not we wanted to admit her to the hospital or try and go home. I felt numb. In that moment, my entire world came crashing down around me. Unless God performed a true miracle, I was going to lose my only daughter.
The next days and weeks were a whirlwind. We made it home and began hospice care. Thankfully a dear friend stepped up to be our hospice nurse so we didn’t have to spend our final days with her in a hospital room. We spent every moment we could holding Olivia and telling her we loved her and that it was okay for her to go home and be with Jesus. She had given it all she had. Then a mere 5 days later on October 22, 2013 at 20 months and 3 days old she took her last breath and went home to meet her Savior.
Left behind, I spend my days thinking about her. I’m so thankful for each second I got to be Olivia’s mommy on earth. She changed me. Her courage and joy in all situations are traits I hope I can have myself. She was my baby but her life and her story made me into an entirely different person. I am grateful for that. I wish every day that I could still have her here with me, but I know I will see her again.
I love you my precious girl. Forever and Always.
Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric cancer research in memory of Olivia Caldwell. You can learn more, donate and sign up to volunteer at www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org.