I’ve always been a rather independent person, probably more mature than my peers, able to make my own decisions and fend for myself. I put myself through school at 20, found my wonderful husband at 22, got married at 25, bought a little house also at 25, we had Griffin when I was 30. But I still felt like a kid at heart. I was a dance in the rain kinda Mum, its ok to get a little muddy every now and then! You want meatballs for breakfast? Hey why not!?!
Then cancer hits us and rocks my little boat. I’m suddenly clutching the sides and trying not to be thrown overboard.
I’m making life and death decisions for my son! Like adult choices, like big time, holy crap decisions. My first gut move? MOMMY!
Luckily, my Husband and I had amazing support and yes, my sweet mother was there for every step of the way! (thank gawd)
But as a Cancer Parent, you are suddenly in charge of your child’s care and medication. You need to keep track of on going and ever changing appointments with different needs going along with them. (to eat or not to eat before an appt, THAT is the question!) You have to make sudden decisions about your child’s care, like to give life saving medication or not, to remove limbs, to perform procedures that could save them, or not…to put these choices on anyone is hard. Put these on a stressed out Mama who couldn’t decide what type of bagel to have this morning? Impossible!
As it turned out, the choices were not actually that hard, our family would discuss the issue and usually we were all on the same page which happened to be the same page as the Doctors, so it all worked out. But I’ve heard horror stories from other cancer parents that are trying to work with ex-husbands, or super religious parents or whatever, that the decision making process is not that easy.
Luckily my husband and I are morally, religiously and spiritually on the same ground. Basically we wanted the f-ing cancer outta our boy, the faster the better, all while maintaining his dignity and childhood. It was a balance of play and medicine. where the play would come first, throw a little chemo in there and then lots of snuggles and play after. For a four night hospital stay, we would pack 2 whole wheelchair loads of crap, just for the hospital room. Colourful quilts for blankets, but also to liven up the room. Several bright pillowcases that not only served as cases but also, toy bags, barf bags, blankets in a pinch, spill cloths, peek-a-boo items, etc. We had a large tote bag that it was Grandma’s job to re-stock every visit. From puzzles, to noisey flashlights to golf tees, yes golf tees, she had it all!
This whole cancer experience made me open my eyes and realize that I AM an adult (crap…when did THAT happen?!?) And I made it through, WE made it through, our little family is intact, our marriage is intact, my parents are closer than ever and best of all? Our boy is cancer-free. Sounds like our ADULT CHOICES turned out ok eh?