Sunday, January 16, 2011

...Lets be clear on a few things.

This week has been slightly insane, intense, and frustrating.  Not because Brinley under went another lumbar puncture that resulted in headaches, and vomiting, and not even because we had a dump of snow, and now face 7ft snow banks and an unplowed road.  But because an article was written in the Williams lake tribune that made me feel, uncomfortable, and quite frankly, pissed off (for lack of a better word)

My mom wrote a lovely story for the local news paper, of the town I grew up in.  It was a story about Brinley, and it was told from an adoring grandmother's heart.  She explained how her granddaughter was prior to cancer, and what it means for the next 3 years of Brinley's young life to have cancer.  My mom submitted the story and was then told that they would have to call me to confirm the story and to get permission to put it in the paper.

I received a phone call from the tribune and was asked a variety of questions, not once did they inquire what kind of child Brinley was, instead she was treated like an object, not a child battling a life threatening illness.  The editor, Robyn asked me about financials, and the golden question, "how has this changed your life?"  Well does it change my life?! It alters my universe, it changes who we are as people, it will forever alter my daughters path.  Ask a survivor of cancer how it has changed their life, ask person who has lost someone they love to this disease, "how has it changed your life?"  I despise this question, it's so impersonal, and lacks sensitivity.  It's quite simple, cancer changes your life in ways you cannot articulate, you're whole world turns upside down, and no solid foundation, the best you can do is grasp at straws and hope you can find 5 mins out of your day that will bring you a moment of peace.

Back to the article.  It was written poorly to say the least, it made my family look as if we were expecting hand outs, which is not the case at all.  My family will make it through this, we will remain in tact and we will BE FINE. We will struggle along the way, but we're strong, my daughter is strong and we will beat this.  The article made Brinley look as if she was an object, just a "thing" they never explained what kind of little girl she was before this, or the amazing little girl she is today.  I told Robyn if she needed more information about my family, and how we feel, and cope day to day to read my blog.  Obviously she didn't go in that direction, obviously reporting a touching, heart filled story was not important to her.  So why do it at all?  To fill needed space? I'm disgusted either way, my daughter is not a pawn, she is a person. She is an alive, living, breathing, surviving, 4 year old human being, and when you report on such a topic approach it with a little bit of humility and compassion, do your research and try not to upset the mother of a child with cancer.

That's all I've got for now.


  1. I read the article, it was written by a cold hearted person, no empathy or
    compassion. It made me very angry, and, as you say, reduced your
    little girl to a cold statistic. Not for long. I took a letter to the editor today.
    Your mother will be "descending" upon the offices tomorrow, they won't
    realise what has hit them until it is too late! With you as the strong protector and your magnificent Mother in full riot mode....this will
    be set right and clarified. Try not to let it add to your worries, stay strong.

  2. The editors at the tribune are retarded to say the least, i dont think that they have been trained properly or have much experience in the field.

    we have had issues with them in the past as well.....

  3. I have had editorial issues with them in the past as well and they were very insensitive about it. Your daughter is a beautiful courageous little girl with feelings, a heart and a wonderful family and she deserves to be portrayed in that light rather than just another one added to the cancer list.

  4. OH MY GOD. This is EXACTLY what I meant when you told me they wanted to write an atricle. It's like Brin is only interesting becuase she has cancer, and not because she is a beautiful child. Wanna write about something interesting? Write how she makes people laugh with her funny Hello Kitty outfits...or how she loves Paris at age 4. IT MAKES ME NUTS. Brin has cancer, not the other way around. CANCER DOES NOT HAVE BRINLEY. I hate this. HATE IT.