Saturday, October 3, 2009

Cancer Mom

I don't follow many blogs about kids with cancer anymore. I knew a long time ago that pediatric cancer support is not the place for me to put my efforts. And frankly, more than half of the kids that I got emotionally involved with are dead.

But there are a few that I follow, kids who are doing great. And I feel great about that.

A few months back, one of the moms who blogs wrote of her guilt surrounding the complaining that she does regarding her surviving child. The constant anxiety about recurrence, the worry about scholastic achievement, fertility issues....so many things that seem small when compared to losing your child, but in day to day life are so, so big.

In the past, I've had what I see as sociologically primitive moments where I will see a child, Henry's age, and wonder why it struck my family. Uniformly, this happens when I see a child who, due to genetics or circumstances, is exceedingly likely to become intimately familiar with the federal justice system. Bad kids with awful parents. They aren't hard to spot. And I think about Henry....he was so smart, so strong, so handsome. He would have been, in all likelihood, an upstanding member of society, contributing, enriching my and other peoples' lives. It's not that they deserve cancer, hell maybe they deserve a break more than Henry did, but it seems a waste.

I don't feel good about those thoughts, but as with all things, it is what it is.

But I have never, NEVER, seen a cancer survivor and even for a millisecond wished for their prognosis to be switched with Henry's. I have never been angry at them, or felt malice toward their parents for their victory. I have nothing but joy in my heart when I hear about a kid who kicked it.

And though I would have done it for the rest of my life, gladly, taking care of a kid with (or who had) cancer is a merciless journey. And I don't miss it, even a little. The constant underlying anxiety, fear, desperate terror of relapse ate me up. It doesn't seem right to even say it, but dealing with that was harder than grief for me.

If any cancer moms or cancer dads follow my blog, know this: those of us who have lost a child are your biggest supporters. We love your children, and we want NOTHING but the best for them. Your victory is our victory.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are going to make a lot of people cry happy tears because they will feel supported and not judged after reading this latest blog. Thank you once again for sharing from the heart.

AngelMc said...

i'm always amazed by your honesty and your ability to convey your feelings to others. please don't forget that this terrible experience that you have shared with others has helped so many people navigate the deep waters of cancer.
thank you.

...tom... said...

...

you wrote...
"Uniformly, this happens when I see a child who, due to genetics or circumstances, is exceedingly likely to become intimately familiar with the federal justice system. Bad kids with awful parents. They aren't hard to spot."

Hmmm. Perhaps there might be an organization or effort in that 'area' that might need the involvement of someone who cares.

If 'pediatric cancer support' strikes too close to the heart perhaps something totally removed from that might be an option. Perhaps one of those kids might value and cherish a 'big sister' that might help him/her escape that . . .'predestination'. After all ...none of us choose our parents.


you wrote...
"We love your children, and we want NOTHING but the best for them. Your victory is our victory."

H3ll, their victory is every parent's victory. But your empathy and appreciation of their difficult journey is certainly magnified beyond our own.


...tom...
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