Only The Best…Nothing Else Will Do

In the days before Peter took the job that brought us to Georgia, we drove north to check out the hospital. We couldn’t even consider moving until we felt safe in our choice that SHOULD we need a hospital for treatment again, Peyton would have the best options available.

We got a grand tour of the hospital and the oncology clinic and we left feeling confident and happy with our available choices. In our time here, I’ve been thrilled with the doctors and hospital.

So, when I got the email on behalf of the Aflac Cancer Center at Children’s Hospital of Atlanta asking if I’d like to become a dedicated blogger for the hospital, I jumped on it. YES! I want to do this…I was feeling very disconnected from all our many “causes” we’d left behind in Fl…the charities, the cancer family interaction, the hospital. We were very involved in the community and it was as if we’d stopped cold turkey.

I didn’t quite know what to do with myself.

September was hard for me, as Childhood Cancer awareness month, and I didn’t have MY regular list of charities and events to be a part of anymore. I struggled to blog about it and to find new ways to raise the profile on pediatric cancers.

Then this opportunity came to get behind a cause I can rally around…our hospital…our new safe place here in ATL.

Tuesday I went up to the hospital to tour the facility.

Let me just say there’s a big difference in the tour you get as a potential incoming parent with a diagnosed child and the one you get when you come in as Aflac’s guest.

Listening to the explanations and information about the hospital that’s given to those who haven’t been neck-deep in the cancer world was an eye-opener. How you can talk about it, discuss it, know all the facts and never truly crack deep into what the hospital does for people.

I suppose that’s where people like me come in. I’m willing to throw it all out there, bleed my emotions all over the keyboard so people will possibly understand a teeny iota deeper.

Because, until you’ve lived your life behind the doors of the hospital, you don’t know. The nurses don’t know. The doctors don’t know. The board of directors sure as heck don’t know.

And I hope they never do.

Friday I went back to the hospital, not as a blogger, but as a parent…taking Peyton in to get her head CT.

I did something I haven’t done in a long time.

I got frustrated and angry and cried because they were hurting my baby girl. Failed attempts to get an IV started left Peyton a sobbing mess and me not far behind her.

In front of Rachael.


Watching their failure to get the IV going while Peyton fought and screamed took me back to all the years ofIMG00057-20091016-1144 holding her down for whatever procedure needed to be done…the years of whispering into her sweaty hair that I was sorry and that it would be done soon…having to be a part of causing my child pain.

I wanted to grab my kids and RUN, not walk, out of there.

But at the end of the day, when the tests were done and we were walking out of the hospital…Peyton with a new stuffed elephant, a balloon and a big smile on her face, I realized that at no point in the day did I doubt their ability to get the job done.

And to me, there is nothing more important than that.

IMG00059-20091016-1155The nicest decor, the prettiest hospital, the most exciting big name technology cannot ever compete with building the TRUST it takes to hand your child to a stranger and know that they’re going to give their best.

THAT is why we picked CHOA as our hospital…because there is no “pretty good” when your child’s life is on the line….there is only the “very best you can provide”.

Nothing else will do.

**No answers on the CT results yet, but since the doctors haven’t called yet, I assume that means nothing popped out as obviously wrong**

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22 Responses to Only The Best…Nothing Else Will Do

  1. A Whole Lot of Nothing October 20, 2009 at 4:23 PM #

    Peyton OBVIOUSLY has your attitude: Kick ass & take names.

  2. AngelaAtHP October 20, 2009 at 1:11 AM #

    Anissa: I haven't been a kid with cancer, so I can't speak from Peyton's perspective. But I have been an adult diagnosed with cancer, so I hope you understand my perspective.

    It does wonders for your soul and willingness to fight when you know that you have a special someone ready to tackle anyone or any thing that could possibly get in the way of getting the very best care or treatment.

    I'd want you in my corner every day of the week and twice on Sunday — blood relative or not.
    And I think the doctors, nurses and other caregivers at CHOA wouldn't want it any other way.


  3. Headless Mom October 20, 2009 at 12:40 AM #


  4. AnissaMayhew October 19, 2009 at 11:31 PM #

    Thank you for that…every time someone says something wonderfully positive about the hospital, it just makes me feel a little safer.

  5. Holly October 19, 2009 at 8:13 PM #

    Although we miss you like crazy, how wonderful you can feel assured that Peyton is getting the best care. Praying for quick news of good results.

  6. Anna Marie October 19, 2009 at 6:06 PM #

    I'm so glad the doc hasn't called yet. And I'm glad you have stupendous health care where you are. It definitely makes for easier sleeping at night.

  7. DE Heather October 19, 2009 at 6:04 PM #

    You will totally rock with your position! Praying that Peyton's results come back clean. xoxo

  8. Beverly October 19, 2009 at 5:58 PM #

    Super! In the world of pediatric brain scans, no news is super news!

  9. Grumble Girl October 19, 2009 at 5:01 PM #

    Oh honey, I'm sorry for this hell you're in at the moment – I have my fingers crossed for your girl, and hoping she gets the all-clear soon. I'm thrilled that you've found a great care place for her – this hospital sounds amazing, and knowledgeable and caring… that helps so very much. Good luck with your new project, lady! I'm rooting for you!!

    • AnissaMayhew October 19, 2009 at 11:30 PM #

      XOXOXOX!! Thank you all around and for every sweet thing you say.

  10. Maya October 19, 2009 at 3:08 PM #

    I am so glad you found a hospital that you love. i know that's not an easy task. I pra the CT scans are kick ass. That little girl is strong- and so is her mommy!

  11. Rhonda October 19, 2009 at 2:30 PM #

    Anissa-I worked with CHOA and the AFLAC Cancer Center for years as their travel agent-and I can't say enough good things about them and their staff. Thank you for giving your honest opinion. I know it was hard leaving the professionals who'd cared for Peyton for so long and so well, but I truly know you all are in good hands at CHOA. Praying for you as always!

    • AnissaMayhew October 19, 2009 at 4:30 PM #

      Thanks, Rhonda…we have been very blessed that his job allows us to be somewhere that we feel is the best for Peyton and the rest of our family. They are truly an awesome hospital, one of our docs in Tampa did her residency at CHOA and had nothing but great things to say, so it felt at every turn that we were making the right decision. XOXOX

  12. pgoodness October 19, 2009 at 2:13 PM #

    You are both so brave and amazing. Keeping fingers crossed that no news is good news and these tests were just that. Congrats on the new project. :)

    • AnissaMayhew October 19, 2009 at 4:28 PM #

      Meh, SHE is the brave one..she just allows me to go along for the ride. Staying positive for no news. XOXOXOX

  13. Anne Y October 19, 2009 at 2:03 PM #

    Congrats on your new project and keeping your family in my prayers that everything remains good!

    • AnissaMayhew October 19, 2009 at 4:28 PM #

      Thank you!! We need all the prayers we can get and always feel them in our hearts.

  14. Maria October 19, 2009 at 2:01 PM #

    She looks SO grown up these day.

    And she is so brave. SO brave.

    • AnissaMayhew October 19, 2009 at 4:23 PM #

      She has grown up a lot…it's freaky to see how much she's changed. She's a tough little cookie, that one

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