First let me clarify – I do not have cancer. I’m 35 years old, with a very healthy body. I’m the mom of two healthy, smart, active kids. We rarely get sick, even with a cold, and if we go to the doctor it’s for a check-up more often than anything else.
But cancer keeps popping up into my life, and frankly, I’m getting real tired of cancer’s crap.
In 2004, my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. He had been sick for a while, and was admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of pneumonia. He was treated and released to go home, but he knew something wasn’t right so he went to a different hospital to get a second opinion. After about two weeks in the hospital, his lung cancer was confirmed. Two weeks later, he was gone. Chemo wasn’t even an option for him because the doctors knew it would take him from us faster than the cancer would.
Losing him so quickly, without time to really feel like I could say goodbye, was hard. Devastating. I miss my dad a lot, and I’m sad that he wasn’t around long enough to ever meet Kaiden. Even Hunter was so young that she doesn’t remember my dad much. He would have been so proud of both of them, but because cancer took him from me when he was only 54 years old, he never got the opportunity to see them grow up.
And now….stupid cancer is trying to take my mom away from me too.
At 57 years old, my mom was just diagnosed with ovarian, cervical, and uterine cancer. At this point, I don’t have many more details than that, but it’s enough to piss me off. I’m scared, yes. I worried while waiting for the diagnosis to be confirmed, and I cried with fear and helplessness when I got the call. But now that I’m moving beyond crying about it, I’m just mad. Mad that this is happening to someone I love. Mad that I’m not there to help her while she is hurting, emotionally and physically. Mad that she could possibly be gone before she has the chance to see Hunter and Kaiden grow and graduate from high school. Mad that I may have another child later that she would never meet.
And yet….I feel like I should thank cancer for what it has done to my life. Because of this situation, I am working to take all of these emotions and turn them into something more positive. I am not going to let cancer win, not in my life and not in my mom’s. I’m going to be with her as she undergoes surgery next weekend to try to remove as much of the cancer as possible, and I’m going to help her from afar as much as I can while she gets chemo. I’m going to stay positive and I’m going to focus on the time we DO have together, rather than worry more about the time we may lose. I am going to find ways to enjoy time with my mom and do what I can to make her life even better.
At home, I’m already becoming more aware of my children and the little time I have with them each day after school. When they want to tell me some long story that seems to have neither a point nor an end (I know you mamas can relate to that!), I remind myself to patiently listen to what they have to say. Who knows when our time together could be gone? It’s so easy to take life for granted and not be conscious of all the blessings we have. It’s so easy to waste precious time and worry about work or bills or cleaning or so many other insignificant things that don’t really matter. But because of cancer taking my dad and now threatening my mom’s life, I’m realizing what matters the most: