I have been struggling lately with the “3-5 year” prognosis that I was given after surgery by my neuro-surgeon. It’s not that I believe that number, it is just hard to get that number out of the forefront of my mind. During my support group last week many people stated that the number they were told after their diagnosis is the one that they remember so significantly, so vividly. One woman was given 6 months…. that was over a decade ago 😉
So earlier today, while trying to relax in the tub, I prayed that the Lord would show me people who have lived with my type of cancer (anaplastic astrocytoma) for more than 5 years. While researching tonight the way to combat the side effects of Kytril, I came across not one, not two, but an entire list of people who have lived way longer than the 3 -5 year prognosis that I was given! One lady, much older than I am, is still alive after 18 years… that did my heart good.
I know that the prognosis is only a number, gathered by the average (or mean) of a group, but I can’t tell you what it does to a cancer patient when a doctor tells them they only have 3-5 years to live. I cant put that feeling into words, much less wrap my brain (or heart) around it. I found myself tallying up what my kids would be doing in 5 years
Easton would be 15
Elijah would be 12
Emma Grace would be 11.
That is not enough time.
I think that as a mother with cancer, my kids become the center focus of my treatment. I bargain with God “If you will just give me until they graduate, I will then know that they are going to be okay.” But when is any child okay after a parents death, especially the death of their mother? When is the “right time” in a child’s life for a parent to die? These are the thoughts I have on a daily basis, and admittedly they aren’t upbeat nor are they positive.
But they are real.
I wonder how other mothers battling cancer do it. I wonder how they juggle chemo and kids. I wonder how much information is too much information for my kids to digest. I wonder how other moms manage the days when they can barely get out of bed, and still have a house to run and kids events to attend. My kids see me at my very worst, and I wonder if that is what is best for them, but then again I don’t want to hide my bad days from them because that isn’t reality either.
That is why I have a love/hate relationship with the drug that is suppose to save my life. The days that I can not function, I feel that I am being cheated out of time spent with my kids. But then I think about how much time chemo is going to give me, and I muster the strength to go another round. I just hate having my kids ask me why I didn’t go to church, or why I am still in bed. It’s not that I don’t want to answer them, it’s just that the answer is just so freaking unfair.
But tonight, after reading the survivor stories of so many people with my type of cancer… I feel refreshed, I feel empowered, and although I am dreading the next round with chemo…I can’t put into words how much I am dreading it….
I will muster up the strength to go through it again, for my family… but not just for them.
For me too.
Out of the depths of desperation, rising from the ashes….arrives Faith