How selfish I feel just typing that title to the blog : "MY struggle". I am not the one fighting cancer, I am not the one in the middle of the scrimmage or punting the ball. No, I am merely the coach on the sideline yelling "Let's do more, we must do more! Why is more not being done?"
This post is very difficult to write for me. I am in essence airing my dirty laundry to people who I see at Publix, my local Starbucks, my sons' school. Why? I know that many who read this blog are also battling cancer with their child and I pray and hope they get some sense of relation to what I am saying and perhaps don't feel a failure for what I believe is just part of the process. The most horrible process of my life, their life!
It's been 4 months now since I watched Cannon in the ICU, breathing tubes, morphine and countless tubes all over him giving lifesaving treatment. 6 months in the ICU with breaks in between, they said. This will increase your son's chance of survival by 10-20 percent, they said. And if we don't? Well, your chance of beating stage 4 neuroblastoma, which has metastasized and is amplified (fast growing) is around 30 percent. What Cannon endured during that phase of treatment was nothing short of torture. We were told Cannon didn't handle treatment of any kind well. Yeah, no shit Sherlock. Sorry, I shouldn't curse but no, he certainly did not. From a self-proclaimed optimist it was difficult but I kept saying next time he will do better. He never did!!
During Cannon's painful battle I felt very strong, very positive. 4 months later how do I feel?
I want to say happy all the time.
Grateful all the time.
Smiley all the time.
Energetic all the time.
That would be a lie!
I am an action person and believe if I act those ways that eventually that will become my reality. That has always been my experience in life!!!
cancer (no capital letter) has changed me. I look in the mirror and I don't recognize myself, and not just because I had three kids in a year and a half.
Although... I am not sure I will ever be the same person again. I am not an isolated person, I don't stress in social settings or around other mums. But these past four months I have found myself more anxious about social settings, more isolated. I have found all I want is me and my kids. That's most unlike me.
Cannon had his first trip to a pediatrician since he was diagnosed coming on two years ago. Would you believe we saw the same doctor who had felt Cannon's tummy but not found a tumor? Who said he hurt his leg when in fact he had stage 4 cancer? I explained to him I was not upset with him despite the fact that nothing was found in Cannon until stage 4, regardless of the well visits. We spoke for 90 minutes. That man is now going to help me try and change that. His pediatric office will also go gold in September. I am and have always been an opportunist... a determined one. I confess my feelings and days like this are less than they are more these days.
My daughter is getting ready to go to college at Alabama in the fall. It's difficult. Everyone supported us and Cannon but often teenaged family members are sidelined. "They can look after themselves." Actually, they can't! Olivia needed me and I couldn't be there for her when she needed me. I hate that she is leaving for college and I feel that burden on my heart and hers.
Cannon's buddy Oscar never got to leave the hospital and has been in pain and can't walk and eat. When I saw him last he was sick but still smiling. I sent him some videos of he and Cannon playing and leave goofy voicemails to cheer him up but my heart is broken thinking of him battling cancer for the third time and his mum telling me they say he only has a 2-10 percent chance of survival. Pray for Oscar, he is a sweet angel boy! I love him.
Life with a family of 6 is constant chaos and if you don't live in that you can't understand it. Most days there isn't time to think. Three in diapers puts a whole new meaning to raising a family. I started posting on my Facebook 'Confessions of a Mumma-Bear'. I think it's important for new mums to know that cancer or no cancer, that life isn't perfect and YOU don't need to be. Breastfeeding is great, I did it, but if you can't or you don't don't sweat it! All we are required to do is try our best and sometimes looking or listening to what others do is NOT the answer! Be your own mum. They are your kids no one else's! Mums judge way too much in my not so humble opinion. ;)
As someone who was never late, whose kid was eating only organic and dressed well, having three under three has changed me. If I'm not late it's because I never went to bed anyway. If I get the school tuition in on time and no penalty it's a good month. If I text back you must be a really, really good friend. If I answer my phone, consider yourself family.
Yes, life has changed.
But so has my heart.
I find I was the girl that never cried to the woman that cries daily (alone, of course, let's not get crazy).
Life is like the seasons (unless like me you live in Florida). But seriously, I know this, too, shall pass! I know that my season of peace of mind will return. It's taking longer than I would like but I guess that truly annoying saying applies here:
"God's will, not mine. Thy will be done."
Be kind to others. Some people just need a smile or a hug today!!!
Written by Mumma-Bear
Cannonball Kids' cancer
Thankful For The Fight
193 Days No Evidence of Disease
No Relapse Ever