Monique’s daughter, Lotte, had the day of her life thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She was very ill at that time.
Monica (48): “We discovered by chance that Lotte—now seven years old—was ill. I had been taking her to the hospital for years: she was a bad eater, had not grown as fast as her twin sister Selma, and when I picked her up from school, I suddenly noticed how crazy she was going. On tiptoe, With a hollow back. She was tested, got a brain scan, and to rule everything out, an MRI of her spine. There they found a tumor. It had nothing to do with her complaint, but it turned out to be malignant.
As Lott’s tumor had spread to the vertebrae, it was immediately a high-risk case. Each year, about 25 children develop this type of tumor, and only eight survive.
I did not believe the diagnosis. It wasn’t until after the treatments began that the realization that it was real came. Lotte has it all: chemotherapy, stem cell transplants, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy. However, I always said it would get better, I stayed positive.
While we were in the hospital with her, my mother took care of Selma, my eldest daughter Selina (25 years old) and my son Kevin (28 years old). At that time, Salma was often angry in class. She felt abandoned. She once said to my mother, “Mama’s always gone.” to which my mother explained it was due to Lotte’s illness. “Yeah, but Lotte sees my mom a lot,” she said at the time. That was hard.
wish a wish
At Children’s Hospital, Princess Máxima Center, I called Make-A-Wish, a wish-granting foundation for seriously ill children. Soon they came to our house to get to know Lotte and ask her about her wishes. She wasn’t doing very well at the time, but she knew what she wanted: to be a princess, with a car, a carriage, and a castle—things she’d dreamed of since she was very young.
She said to everything: This isn’t real, is it? I’m sure I won’t get a real cart, but a toy cart”
We make an appointment with the basis: immediately after immunotherapy. Meanwhile, Lotte is included in the preparations for the Day of Wishes. She said to everything: This isn’t real, is it? I don’t get a real cart, but a toy cart. She also kept asking why I got this today. I’d say “because you’ve been to the hospital so many times.”
Salma was so happy about this, she was also a total participant. We received a brochure about Princess Styr, the princess who will be present on the day of her wish. I had to read this book ten times. That time, those weeks of preparation, was a very nice period.
Also read – Mother’s intuition: “Suddenly I know: I have to go home now”>
the previous evening
The night before the day of her wish, the twins showered. I wandered between businesses and saw my husband, Clint, said something was up. He was acting funny with his arm, blocking, he was going in and out, grabbing his chest. He said there was nothing, but decided to drive to the hospital himself. A little later he called: he had a heart attack and had to stay. He immediately added that Lotte’s Wishing Day should be moving forward. As intense as it was, I agreed with him.
On the morning of Wishing, she calls Clint for the first time at the hospital. It went well, and I was able to let it go. We’ve been through so many problems, I’ve become so strong because of it. I had to.
The doorbell rang, and there was a man in a pink limousine at the door. There were also four of Lotte’s girlfriends, all dressed in princess dresses. All the girls were open-mouthed, looking at the pink car. They were so happy, in the way they immediately started singing and eating chocolate.
“She’s a very nice and sweet girl, but now she’s on top: Go ahead, it’s my party”
We arrived at a castle where Princess Stir was waiting for us. Inside kids could do crafts, there was a chocolate fountain, and it was made. A photographer wandered around: Lotte was also allowed to take pictures, which she found very interesting. Then they drove around in a chariot. People took pictures on the street. ‘I’m famous!’ Lotte shouted. It worked very well. She’s a very nice and sweet girl, but now she’s on top: Go ahead, it’s my party.
She was very cheerful and happy, but I also saw that she was tired. I watched her the whole time. I enjoyed it, but I also worried a lot. Although considered “clean” at the time, her scan also showed a discoloration that doctors weren’t able to put down yet. And she still had her Hickman at the time, a catheter sitting close to her heart. She is not allowed to run with her, and I always feared she would bump into herself. I tried to stay close to her to keep her from falling. Meanwhile, my eldest daughter called my husband. Of course I kept thinking of him, too.
Lotte was asleep in the car on the way home. Once we got home, ate something, and I drove with the girls in a princess costume to the hospital, to their father. It was good to see it going so well. Clint never said much, but he was proud, and thought they were beautiful.
I always knew: Lotte would get better. This also happened, and it was recently announced that she is healthy. Hickman is out, she can run again and go to the pool. It’s still exciting, she’ll be screened in three months and we don’t know what we’ll see next. Clint has not yet fully recovered, and soon he will be operated on again on his heart.
Lotte is now carefully returning to school. Today, she participated in gym class for the first time in a year and a half. She has a lot to catch up on. Just before you got sick, you got a new bike. She still has to learn how to ride a bike on it. And she still has to take swimming lessons, she can’t read and write yet, while her sister and her friends are now in group four. I don’t hear it about it, fortunately.
“Although things are really getting better, I still feel a lot of anxiety.”
Still talking about wishing day. You still live a lot for her. She regularly says it was the best day of her life. She recently returned from a day out at Giulianatorin Amusement Park. “That was fun, but Make-a-Wish was even more fun,” she said at the time. She just doesn’t want to be a princess anymore but a photographer, because of the pictures she was allowed to take that day.
Even though things are really getting better, I still get a lot of anxiety, especially now that she’s back in school; I don’t have that at all with Salma. But if Lotte coughed, I would actually go into shock. It’s going to take some time, and that’s going to take some time.”
This article appears in Kek Mama 12-2022.
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