What I Learned From My Kids During My Cancer Treatments
I’m currently undergoing chemo and radiation treatments for stage 2 cervical cancer that doctors discovered right before my birthday this last November. It was a rough time to learn that I’d be going through the process of these treatments right through Christmas. I’m a single mom to two boys, ages 4 and 11 and with no one to lean on I felt not only the stress of getting better, but all of the financials, the sitters, the help I would need seemed overwhelming. My family is all two states away and my support system isn’t the greatest. My boys are my little buddies though and where I initially felt burdened by my responsibility for them I’ve been pleased to discover that they make my life so much easier by just giving me love.
I’ve had a couple moments in these months undergoing treatment that have made me realize what a real blessing it is to have these boys. Christmas Eve, for example, my roommates went out of town and the girl who was supposed to watch them while I went to get my chemotherapy treatment bailed :/so they went with me. I wasn’t sure how the clinic was going to respond to me having them. When we walked through the doors, it was almost dead since no one in their right mind wants to be injected with poison on Christmas Eve. :/ If I’d felt like I could have just opted out I most likely would have done so. So I walk in through the doors of the clinic and they tell me that kids aren’t supposed to really be there, but the nurses discuss it and decide to make an exception and admit us into a private room. The room has two recliners and the boys are excited to get snacks and hang with mom. And for me, I have to say exposing my kids to real life situations and showing them it is possible to get through it with a good attitude feels almost like a deep biological inclination. We watched some shows and joked around, blew up glove balloons and whatnot and made a good time of it. There’s no one else I would rather have spend my Holiday with, I felt supported and it didn’t feel tragic or fill me with self-pity. My eleven year old said that the treatments weren’t as bad as he perceived they would be and he would never have known that had he not been there to see first hand.
Then last night I drifted off into a deep sleep, the boys were in bed next to me watching a movie and somewhere in my spell I felt my four year old cradle my head and say, “Mom, I love you so much, I’m gonna take care of you.” Obviously, I’m not thinking of becoming reliant on my four year old, but man what a comforting thing to hear.
I always struggled in my family feeling unloved and I feel so loved by my kids, it’s an awesome feeling to experience in my life. I’ve been through heartache over and over in relationships; My kids dad that has disappeared basically and someone I dated and loved a long time ago that didn’t work out and now he’s gone, a father I haven’t spoken with in ten years and a mother that appears at times only to give a cold shoulder at others. I’ve never felt this kind of lasting love and it’s really a gift. I’ve also never quite felt this kind of love for anyone and that too propels me to give them a love and acceptance that I did not have.
This cancer stuff is supposed to be real shitty and I don’t know if everyone experiences this, but I’ve had a few cool life changers, people that have come out of the woodwork to show support and love and obviously my kids….just felt like I needed to give some props to them :)