Dear Emily, I am also a “Cancer Mama” as you call them. What a shitty club to be part of. And I’m a hoarder of information. I spend my sleepless nights trolling the internet for bits of information I can write in my book. It can be anything from inspiration quotes to cancer facts to germ fighting recipes. And then one night, I followed your pin to your blog. It was a life changing moment reading your posts, shifting through your story, following your adventures. I laughed with you, I cried with you, then I laughed again. But most importantly I took the good bits. I started scribbling them down, then I moved on to cutting and pasting, stealing good tidbits of info. I ended up sharing your blog with everyone I know, including all the “Cancer Mamas” here and now have bookmarked your blog. I check it everyday, hoping for a new post, wondering what you will come up with next. And as usual, I’m surprised every time. Congrats on building an amazing go-to place for Cancer families. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your soul. You are doing an amazing job. I wanted to share with you what connected with me the most. Here are the quotes I “stole”:
Ahem, Attention, Attention please. I, Mama Emma will now share my secrets as to how to “deal” with Cancer…Um, yeah, I have no idea.
Then cancer hits us and rocks my little boat. I’m suddenly clutching the sides and trying not to be thrown overboard.
Welcome to the wonderful world of Children’s Hospitals filled with sick children. Please wash your hands.
And the sad part? I didn’t spend my money on booze or drugs or tattoos or vacations or fast cars. I spent my money on Cancer. Fucking cancer. What a complete waste of money. A waste of my money and my time and my health and my sanity. Fuck Cancer…
Dear Cancer, Because of you, our family grew stronger as you grew weaker. Because of you we have gained the friendship and kinship of other cancer families that I consider as close as family. Because of you, I don’t take anything for granted. Because of you, I wake up each morning thankful for the day I had yesterday with my child and looking forward to the day I will have today. Because of you I will never be the girl, daughter, wife, mother that i was before. There is no “going back to normal”, there is a new normal now. Its stronger, bigger and badder than Cancer.
I’ve put my whole life on hold to dance with Cancer.
Yes, I said a “family with Cancer”, because really, when one member has Cancer, it affects the family unit as a whole. One member suffers, all the members suffer. We work as a group, as a team, with one goal. KICKING CANCER’S BUTT!
Hold their hand through the most terrible, stressful, awful time of their lives. Their baby is sick, their marriage is rocky, their finances are in the ditch.
Another issue would be the tube itself, being there. Your child will get stared at, babies will try to yank at it, children will ask about it. Some cancer parents would get upset. But just like any other medical disability, instead of getting insulted, or awkward, turn the situation into a learning experience.
And they were wrestling on the camp cot, you know, like tigers do, and “somehow” Griffin’s feeding tube got pulled out. Off to the camp medical office we go. We decide that we are not going to put it back in, Griffin will have to struggle through the last couple of days of camp without it. Fast forward a couple of hours, we are back in the medical office, now his leg needle has “somehow” came out as well. With our heads hung low, we have to explain that a “tiger did it”. Griffin thought this was WAY too funny and giggled himself silly as we had to explain the story to the camp medical staff, the camp director, and also the nurses and doctors as we had to attend the hospital to get everything put back in!!! hahaha LOVE IT! Tiger wrestles is the best kind of wrestling! teehee!
Of course, it could be me! I like to think that I have not changed, but that would be a lie. I HAVE changed! (I hope for the better!) I’ve lost my innocence for sure. I’ve faced my child’s mortality and of course pondered my own. I’ve buried chemo buddies, I’ve watched children waste away to nothing. I’ve watched cancer rip families apart, tear apart marriages and drain every cent a family has. I’ve watched child take medicine that poisons thier bodies to the point of death, meds that take thier hair, sight, hearing, mobility, and watched thier parents give it to them. I’ve put on a lead bib as my baby gets radiated, over and over and over again. I’m not the same person. I’ve seen the dark side of life. But because I’ve seen the dark side, I hang on tight the bright!
I’m here, my heart hurting for my fellow Cancer Mama. I’m here to represent all us Mamas out there. I’m here to respect and say good bye to the littlest cancer warrior I’ve ever met. I’m here, I’m present and I always will be.
I hope we can blaze a trail of friendship and understanding for new cancer families coming in behind us! Do not be afraid to love your fellow cancer kids and supporters! You will be thankful that you did! Thank you fellow Cancer Parents for opening your hearts to me, to us. Thank you for putting your heart on the line and your heart on your sleeve. I understand the risk you take opening your soul to others. I understand and I’m thankful.
Once your life is ripped for you and you work HARD to but the pieces back together, you savour every moment you’ve got left.
Put altogether we get these amazing “words of wisdom” which I recently read at a cancer support group. Again, everyone laughed, everyone cried, and everyone laughed again.
Thank you from the deepest depths of my soul. Thank you for letting me out, for giving me permission to enjoy the blessings as well as the ugliness of cancer. Thank you for opening my eyes and letting me see the light as you see it. I look forward to your next post! (no pressure or anything! Hahaha)
Your fellow Cancer Mama from BC