As I sit here typing on my phone like I always do its dark outside, my kids are all still sleeping and my husband is in the other room doing his prayers like he always does in the morning. We both have lists of kids battling who need special attention! Ethan, Alex and Oscar, we pray hard for you and we hope our prayers are answered! We never, ever give up HOPE! EVER!
As mothers, as parents, we fight when we need to fight! For a year and a half my shoulders have been tight, I've had a knot in my stomach and at any moment I'm ready to fight for my son.
I've been commended (undeservingly, I feel), but I've been commended for MY honesty in this blog. With that in mind I wanted to share this. My sister Nicole always jokes with me saying "Sharing is caring, Melissa". Despite what people may think I am not the type to share my feelings. In fact, you're more likely to read from our blog than hear it from me. There's that ego of mine again.
All joking aside, my greatest pleasure and my reason for writing this blog is the emails from parents. Not just cancer parents but all parents.
"Your blog made me appreciate my time with kids more."
"Your blog said exactly what I was feeling and can't say myself. Thank you."
And my personal favorite....
"You made me ask doctors and nurses questions when before I felt bad asking."
For me, if I receive one email, one personal message, one comment saying I've helped someone during this journey with their child then it's 100 percent worth the time, effort and emotion I put into writing.
The truth is, the aftermath of what Cannon suffered HAUNTS me, I mean physically haunts me. I can be driving in my car and see flashbacks of him screaming and four nurses and myself restraining him. I wake up during the night covered in sweat having bad dreams of him dying, of me at his funeral, or of kids bullying him because he is short with hearing aids and a lisp. I say all of this because even though these thoughts plague me, I choose to live like they don't. I truly believe that my silly Scottish brain will catch up with my actions. I truly do.
I believe that someday the thought of relapse won't enter my brain daily.
I believe that someday when Cannon says a word like he did last night ("EAT") and as I watch him struggle so hard to say ONE word... that I will not inside feel like crying tears of pure pain. My son, who will be four, doesn't talk. When I prayed last night I told God "Remind me please to remember how far he has come, how the fact he is alive is enough, the fact that he smiles and is happy is ENOUGH!!!"
I confess like I always do here... I have had two of the most difficult emotional months of my life. Bar none.
People reading this might think "How so? Your son is 224 no evidence of any disease in his body." It has been almost 6 months since I saw my son in real horrific pain from his treatment. Perhaps a little insight... my personality helps here. I don't tend to process things at the time. I deal with them in action (saving Cannon's life) and I later deal with the emotions. Well, it's later... and I've been dealing.
I isolated from my friends, my family, my husband and I struggled to keep my joy. The last two months have been most challenging. People close to Cannon and me got the words "Your son is going to die, there are no options." This was the tipping point for me.
For the first time in my life I asked God "Why? Why is this 5 year old boy going to die? Why? Save him." I asked God for a miracle. I realize God doesn't kill our children, He is in pain like I was. But in that moment...
I want other parents to know that despite what we feel in our hearts, if we keep doing service and helping others that THIS, TOO, SHALL PASS.
Two months on...
It has finally passed...
For me, helping others helps mend my heart. Picking up the phone and calling someone who could use a call or a text. Taking dinner to someone, or my real fav... leave something on someone's door and don't tell them. ;)
I truly felt this cloud would never lift but I acted like I KNEW it would.
Just keep trudging. To all the parents who have depression, a hard time as a parent, a child with a disease like my son... keep acting like you KNOW it will get better, and in time it will. That has been my experience.
The Card Club, for example, has kept me occupied in down time (by that I mean nap time for my kids)... collecting addresses and getting packages to Caressa Johnson, my card club teammate and incredible woman who helped make packages with her adorable son Caden. Caden said "I love Cannon, can I help?" The domino effect of CKc Card Club on family and community is almost a miracle... truly.
On Friday (the post office closed on me yesterday), I will mail out 66 packages to a total of 15 states and three countries in the world. Now that's a domino effect! In January we have our Board meeting and I plan on bragging, that's right, bragging about how many states and how many kids we can get cards to! I may be a little, tiny, weeny bit competitive. OK fine, a lot, but in this situation it works to our advantage! Within one year I aim to have a card club in every state in America!!! Oh, I believe my friends. Dream big, right?! 2015 has CKc written all over it and I am ready game ready.
Today I am beyond thankful for everyone who supports and loves our family, especially our son Cannon. I know CKc has an incredible year ahead of it and we are so very excited about it! If you wish for me to send you a packet at the end of January to host a card club event please email me: Melissa.firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Mumma-Bear
Cannonball Kids' cancer
Thankful For The Fight
224 Days No Evidence of Disease
No Relapse Ever