The cancer-fighting life


I am tired.

When Asher was diagnosed with cancer I knew it was bad, but I naively assumed it would just mean surgery to take out his eye and that would be it. But it’s not. Even after we started the chemo, I thought I had it figured out. I knew nothing.

Cancer really is appointment after appointment, a tube inserted into my son’s chest, remembering complicated names of prescriptions that I can’t even begin to pronounce, learning to give shots, and my precious newborn being bombarded with chemo drugs. It’s blood draws, practically moving into the hospital, using up vacation time, anesthesia on a regular basis, figuring out how to pay for meals out and medical supplies, road trips to doctor appointments, and constant vigilance for new symptoms.  It’s weekly trips to drop off labs, a ridiculous amount of paperwork, and barely getting to see my other child for days or even weeks.

Most of all it’s never knowing what is going to happen. One day he is fine then the next he is throwing up and not eating. You go into the hospital for two days, and stay ten. You think this weekend you have to worry about the affects of chemo, but now you have to worry about if he has an infection in his blood. It’s knowing that a new tumor could (and most likely will) pop up in the months to come.

It’s always something around the corner to be scared of.

But even if you get passed the fear, you can still never really relax. You never feel like you have a hold on it. You may be afraid of one thing, then something completely out of left field happens that is even scarier. It’s not just one diagnosis. It’s a diagnosis followed by more diagnosis’s of symptoms, untold amounts of complications and changes. It’s a complicated regime of injections, med’s, and tests that you need special calendars for.

It’s a lifestyle that nobody wants, but I have. I don’t dwell on why, but it’s the fear of not knowing what’s around the corner and constantly adapting that is my weakness. That’s what stresses me out, keeps up at night, and usually is responsible for putting me in a sobbing mess. The one more unexpected thing.

I try to be strong. I really do. I try to stay organized, pay attention to every detail, plan carefully smoothest transition possible for both kids and the hubby, delegate everything else, and write everything down. But I still miss things. I still forget the names of prescriptions. My house is still a mess. Asher still gets sick. And I am still exhausted juggling it all. I just keep reminding myself that God will give the the strength I need and I just don’t know how yet. But He will. He always has.

He will.

But then again, that doesn’t mean life won’t bring you to your knees too.

A friend I respect greatly, called me inspiring yesterday. I don’t know if I really am. But it meant the world to me. Probably the best compliment I could get right now. I want to handle this okay. I want to be…not a drain on people around me. I want my family to look back on this time in our life and think that I did the best I could.

The compliment also had another layer to it. I am more transparent these days than I ever have been before. I’m putting my life on Facebook and journaling in this blog, and my goal is to be honest. I have good days and bad. I’m trying to be honest about both. I am trying to be honest about me. That someone would find that inspiring or even worth reading, means the world.

Within hours things can change for the worse, and they did when I started this post last night. There are so many days I could crumble into a little fetal position in the corner and just sob.

But they can also change for the better, and they did that today. Within hours a list of problems my baby was having went away.

We are living this horrible cancer fighting lifestyle, and some days are horrible and some days are good. I have to focus on those good days, or all that crap that I just wrote about would probably break me (okay, many times it still does). But tomorrow will come, so will the day after that. Today at least, I am going to look at that as a good thing. The cancer fighting lifestyle is awful, but tomorrow there is room for things to get better. Thank God, because there is so much that needs to get better.


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