Dear Cancer Mom,
I’m sorry. I am sorry that you are part of this club. Cancer mom is not a title you wanted. Your life has changed. In the blink of an eye your world crumbled. Allow yourself to cry, it will make you feel better. Kick and scream and throw a fit, let it take all your energy, because there are days that crying is all you can do for the day. The fog will lift, I promise. That feeling you get when you walk into a public place, that feeling that everything is surreal, that you want to turn around and walk out because everyone in that place is happy and laughing, and you feel as though their lives are going on and yours is just sitting still, it will go away. In place of that, you will look at people that are constantly unhappy with their lives and you’re reminded of how precious life really is.
Hope on journey on. Don’t let people tell you that time heals all wounds. It doesn’t. You will, however, notice that the sadness doesn’t consume you. If your child is no longer here you’ll be able to think about your child and laugh again.
Don’t allow people to make you think that your anxiety and worry is not justified. It is. I recently had a “person” tell me that I need to quit acting like a victim. Sorry lady, I’m no victim…this Mom is a survivor. My child was diagnosed with cancer. It’s a very scary world to be placed in. Watching your child go through this and watching other children, it’s not something you wish upon anyone….but when you witness your own child and all the other children fighting, well….it will change your life.
Document your journey. Whether it be a journal, a blog, pictures, videos. Document it. People may ask “why would you want to document this part of your life.” It’s a reminder, a reminder of the battle. It’s also a great thing for your surviving children… so they see the fight in your eyes, as a mom.
If you’re battling cancer with your child there are people that will support you the entire time, and others that just can’t keep up, that are tired of altering their life to accommodate you. Those are the ones who don’t understand. You don’t owe them an explanation, so don’t give them one. You have a sick child, there is no explanation needed. Move forward and don’t hate them for it. It’s just a reminder of how difficult this life is, and some people can’t handle it when things get rough. They don’t know until it happens to them.
If you have a spouse, spend time with them alone as much as possible, go out on dates when you are able to and take a nap when the opportunity is there. Watch for the little blessings. Pay it forward; there are many, many people that will want to help you. Some people that you don’t even know.
Swallow your pride and ask for help when needed. Surround yourself with people that understand and know what you are going through. No matter how much others claim to know what you are going through, they don’t. Perhaps they sympathize with us, but they can never empathize.
If the opportunity arises, take some time for yourself. I’ve chose running, but even if it’s a ride in the car by yourself, do it. Don’t feel guilty. You have given 110% of yourself to help save your child. The worrying, anxiety and lack of sleep is exhausting.
Don’t put much thought into the comments others make. I found myself wanting to throat punch a few people, but I had to remind myself that they just don’t know. They mean well…they really do. As a reminder, our children in heaven are not angels, they do not have wings. God did not gain, nor did He need another angel. Yes our child had cancer, but no, this is not a relief. No, God did not need them more than I do. Yes, they are in a better place, but no, that does not make me feel any better. I miss them. I want them here. Just tell me you love me, hug me, pray for me. Always mention my child! Help me keep their memory alive! They will always be a part of my family!
Regardless of what others say, cancer will be a part of your life forever. We never stop fighting! Once a Cancer Mom, always a Cancer Mom. Hang in there. Keep moving forward. Head up, chin up. #fightthefight #finishtherace #keepthefaith #ColtStrong
A Cancer Mom