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  • Writer's pictureKim Nork

The Pink Cast

Today was the first time since Parker passed that I didn’t cry in the shower. It’s one of those places where you get lost in your own head, kind of like trying to fall asleep at night. The shower, as boring and uneventful a place it may be holds a tremendous amount of emotion for me. I cry, no sob, every day in the shower.

Parker broke his ankle just shy of two weeks before he was diagnosed. Our biggest concern at the time was whether or not he would get his cast off in time to finish his hockey season. The universe had other plans. He was in that pink cast through all of his procedures - surgery #1 scalp biopsy and bone marrow biopsy; surgery #2 lumbar puncture with chemo and port placement; MRI of his head; Echocardiogram; 2nd lumbar puncture with chemo; countless X-rays; 5 chemo treatments; 7 days in the hospital; 14 days at home (with 5 outpatient days at CHOP). He had so many signatures. His friends, teammates, family, doctors and nurses and even the surgeons signed it. Everyone commented on the pink cast. He was on crutches and needed help doing everything, especially showering.

Once Parker was diagnosed I did not leave him. Not even for a minute. He changed, I changed. He wouldn’t let me leave his side. I would sit on the toilet while he was showering because he didn’t want me to leave him. In the hospital and at home. I would help him in and out and while he was in the shower. Our conversations were usually me asking him if he was ok. He always, always said “Mom, I’m fine”. Those were the last words he spoke to me aside from “I love you too”.

He got his cast off 4 days before he left us. I remember telling the technician that I wanted to keep it. That he would look back on it and all the signatures and smile. I am forever grateful for keeping it. That damn pink cast.

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