Monday, February 11, 2013

The Club...

Nope...not the fun club where you get a few brews and dance...

The exact opposite.

The cAncer club, specifically, the mother of a child with cAncer club.

NOT a club you want to welcome in new members, but it happens every day.

46 every school day.

This past week, many children that I have a personal connection to through others in this world have been diagnosed.

My heart is so heavy for them. I don't want them in the club, I want this to be an exclusive club with no new members. In fact, I want to END the club.  We are fighting to stop membership through our foundation, but we are not there.

I've thought about those mommies so much this week. The initiation process into this club is a horrible one.

You notice something isn't right (maybe you have been noticing something wasn't right...that was the case for us..I'll post about Braden's diagnosis this week) and you take your child to the doctor...

and you see the look of "oh crap!" on the doctor's face when he/she realizes what you are likely dealing with.

You your heart your know that whatever it is the doctor ISN'T saying is something you do not WANT him/her to say.

You close your eyes and pretend that maybe that wasn't what you just read from the convince yourself you are being too sensitive and you don't really "know" anything yet...

but you know.

A parent's heart always knows.

The real answer doesn't come right away. It takes testing and horrible, painful pokes and prods and scans...

And all the while you are telling yourself that they are going to come back and tell you it's a virus or something relativey simple like that.

cAncer happens to other children but certainly it wouldn't happen to YOUR child...they have to be wrong and there's a far simpler explanation.

Then the word slams into your heart while the doctor gives you the diagnosis.

You spend the first few days telling yourself that you know it's real BUT it can't be real and that there must be a mistake of some sort...and you wait and watch for them to come back in and tell you there was some sort of mixup in the lab or patient files got changed or anything that doesn't mean your child has cAncer.

You look at your child's eyes and you see the same child you played with at the park hours earlier, the same child who wants to still play, the same child who repeatedly asks when you can go home because they are tired of being at the hospital.

You wonder how the hell you are going to do this. How the hell can YOUR child have cAncer?

This is your BABY...

...and you can't fix it.

When your child falls and gets a scrape or cut, you can fix it. When they a "regular" illness, you take care of them and you fix it.

You cannot help your child with this one. You have to rely on others, who are telling you that this may be something even THEY can't fix, to try.

You build a wall and you bring your inner-most circle into that wall and you shut out the rest of the world.

It's not to be's because you can only deal with so much and as much as people want to be helpful and wonderful, you just can't deal with the outside world when your heart is broken into a million pieces and you are more frightened than you have ever been in your entire life.

You can't change a single damn thing. You are powerless against it.

At that point, acceptance begins and each parent reacts differently.  NO reaction is a bad reaction and no reaction is wrong, they are all just different!

Some parents need to yield to the doctor's wisdom and recommendations and simply hold onto their child and hope.

Others fight and question anything and everything.

And most are somewhere in the middle.

Your friends handle things differently as well. Again, none of the reactions wrong, just different.

Some of your closest family and friends go missing.  I think it's because they just can't deal with it, it's too hard for them.  I don't believe it's because they don't care, although, I will confess that it feels that way very much.

Then there are friends, some that you don't even know and have never met, that reach out with grand gestures to let you know they are hoping and praying and they help you in ways you didn't even know you needed the help.

Most are somewhere in the middle.

Every single thing in your life changes overnight. NOTHING is the same and you have a feeling that it will never return to being that "normal" again.

You are right.

It won't.

You and your family and your friendships and your world are completely changed.

It's not a change you chose to make, and it's not a change you can control.

You fear the word, "future" because yours is so very unknown to the level of "will my child live".

You don't feel jealousy of those who have your old "normal" but you yearn to have that normal back.

You reflect on what once was your life and how you thought little things were huge deals.

You learn.

You love.

You redefine.

You fight.

You cry.

You ache.

You curse.

You fume.

You stew.

You believe.


You have FAITH.



Praying for all of the newest members in the club.

And praying that we end membership, soon.

Some of you may be wondering, so what should you do and say and what should you not do and say when you know a child who is diagnosed with cancer.  I can't speak for everyone, but tomorrow I will share with you a few thoughts about some AMAZINGLY helpful things people did to reach out to support us that truly helped!