Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What cancer has done for me (so far)

Caner is a funny thing. It causes you to completely change your attitude and priorities. Some things become obvious right away, others take a while to sink in. I have always been *fairly* no-nonsense kind of person, not one to like to be involved in drama. However, I have created my own fair share - usually ending up ashamed and frustrated to be in that situation nonetheless.

Cancer, however, makes most of life's dramas a bore. When you are fighting life and death, you don't have much time for a lot. You pretty clearly see when someone is being an idiot but for me, it has made it possible to gloss over it - UNLESS it has to do with the care and comfort of my child.

There are lots of other things, good things, that cancer provides you real perspective on. It makes me want to hug more. It makes me really feel what others are going through. It makes all sorts of pain, no matter how trivial, matter. I have taken to saying everyone has their own problems - and just because you don't have cancer actively in your life doesn't make yours any less important.

But the major thing cancer has done has made me value my family. And it has cemented (in my mind anyways) my value to this family. Before Sophia got sick, me being a stay-at-home Mom was just an experiment. Turns out it was divinely apportioned because we couldn't work as a family in this situation without me being at home.

It has also loosened my grip. I know I can't hold on so tight to what/when/how/why because cancer has shown clearly all of that is (for the most part) out of my control. It doesn't mean I still don't try or get frustrated or have boundaries. But my boundaries are stretched like a rubber band and some things will just never be back in shape.

God has great, wonderful, marvelous plans for my girls. That is so crystal clear that it hurts. What He is using cancer to show me is that my "rule" book is of my own creation. It took cancer for me to let go enough to really let them start to blossom. It took cancer for me to better understand their gifts. It is taking cancer for me to get the idea in my head there has to be give and take or we are going to pay now and in the future as a family.

Cancer is redefining how I work as a Mom. I don't want to have more patience but I do. I want to be obeyed, but I take a lot more compromise. I guess you could say I still act in their best interest, but I'm getting what that means now.

Before cancer, my parenting principles were firmly planted in Terra Firma.

Now, because of cancer, my parenting principles are being up-rooted to Eternity.

I pray I will keep this perspective because it has been hard won. I pray my marriage and children will benefit from it. I pray others will see hope in it.

But mostly, I just pray.

Cancer has certainly done that for me.

1 comment:

Sue said...


I happened upon your blog randomly while doing a Google search. Your blog did not provide the information that I thought I was looking for, but I got the message that I needed to be reminded of. Your post reminded me of some of the lessons I learned during my MacKenzie's journey (oh I hate that word... like its an exciting trip we wanted to take?!?!) with brain cancer. She was 8 when she was diagnosed in December 2005, and she died 8 months ago tonight, at age 13. Thank you for jumping in and reminding me of what I learned, and in a way, nudging me back to writing myself. I used to write on her Caringbridge site frequently, but haven't had the heart to. Its time to start again....