Recently I have had to confront something that I really never wanted to think about. I have had to confront the profound and lasting effect that cancer has had on me and my children. We are all transformed. We are more fragile emotionally at times and yet we are stronger too. We have experienced fear and anxiety about the future and yet made it through these fears. It was not without cost.
Illness had changed us all. We look at things differently now. The things I once valued seem so much less important. I don’t need a fancy new car or a designer bag, it is just not that important. I try really hard not to sweat the small stuff, and so much of life is the small stuff.
My son is not quite as resigned as I am. He is very angry that cancer ever came into his life. “Mom,” he said the other day, “I want to get as far away from cancer as I can. Your cancer ruined my life.” Now, keep in mind that he is a known exaggerator, which of course is hereditary, but I understand his feeling. He switched schools the same fall that I was diagnosed and so he had to try to make new friends while everyday he was sick(literally- he began to suffer from bad stomach aches) with worry over my health. That is quite a bit for a seven year old to bear. Yet bear it he did and he kept it all inside. Then my hair grew all the way back and I looked like my old self. He in turn fell apart.
My daughter, on the other hand, was much younger so she was less aware of what was going on while I was in treatment. She whined and cried for pretty much the entire year after I was sick, so perhaps she got her fears out right away. She did wear my wig to school for crazy dress day recently so I guess there are still some residual effects of illness lingering in her psyche. I am sure that I will hear more about it when she is a teenager.
As we continue to move through our days and confront the debris that cancer has left behind I hope and I pray that this journey will get easier. They say that time heals all wounds. We shall see.