Much of this blog has been one point of misery and despair after the next. Unfortunately, this has been our journey. It does not mean that another child will have the amount of infection/hospital stays that daughter has had.
Anyway, one thing that has been a positive side of the last year is the internet.
I am incredibly thankful that, throughout huge periods of isolation, daughter has essentially become something of an internet celebrity in her own right.
She plays on an much-advertised, international game. She has been on the leader-board for months. Though, in fairness, she does have a lot of hours spare! I remember reading a book about excellence being cultivated by so many thousand hours of time spent honing a certain pursuit. She is very, very excellent at it!
I will give you an example: she created a profile page on there 3 days ago, and so far it has had 93,000 page views. That's a bigger circulation than my local paper... although, her profile is probably more interesting (sorry paper ;-) ).
She has a blog (89 followers, 13,000 page views) and she and I have started to write some short stories for teenagers as her peers seem to like that sort of thing, and we both enjoy writing. (I will admit, she is much better than me!)
If you want to read, shameless plug, it is called 'dark days and dreadful nights':
These figures I am citing may seem like small fish in the international waters of the internet. I am pretty impressed by them though.
So, take a girl with cancer and give her a laptop. She now has people fighting to be her friend; she has gained confidence and self esteem; she has hardened her shell too when she gets the occasional nasty comment or situation. She is far from stupid: she knows the rules of internet safety. This experience has allowed her to develop her own likes and dislikes, to formulate her own moral code (she has written blog posts slamming evidence of discrimination against women, racism), and to give her back her self-esteem after what has been a horrible time for her.
I am also proud of the comments she gets from peers, who tell her she is "kind and approachable" unlike other leader board figures. (Ah, the politics of a virtual world.)
For once then, might I be a parent who is happy her daughter spends hours on the internet? I am thankful for it. It has given her a social life that real life has tried to take away from her.
It has empowered her when she feels most powerless.