Childhood cancer

I Choose This Child

Generally, I write when I’m feeling ok. By that I mean, although I might write about low moments, anxiety, fear etc, I am not feeling any of those feelings while I’m writing. Because when I do feel those feelings, I am frozen. Fear makes me freeze emotionally, and partly physically; I can’t get anything done, I just crawl through the day basically on auto-pilot. I’m not fun, I’m not funny, and I’m certainly not creative.

Also, I don’t want to write anything too depressing. I know what I write is some serious stuff, but I always manage to see the bright side, even sometimes the funny side. And let’s face it, in life, no matter what you’re going through, there are hilarious moments.

But every now and then it’s slightly different, and I do some writing to try to cheer myself up, because I’m feeling kind of low. A few days ago, I had one of those moments, and here’s what I wrote. I actually did feel better after, so maybe writing is the solution!

I’m alone in the living room. Elliot is asleep, Martin is on an evening shift at work, and the other two kids are away tonight.  I can’t watch TV, I can’t read a book, nothing seems to engage my mind anymore.  Today, September 7th, is the one year anniversary of Elliot’s diagnosis. And although I didn’t want to mark the day, to even remember it, it’s the first things I thought of when I woke up this morning.

So it’s quiet, and I’ll write. Let’s see if it works. You can be my psychoanalyst, and maybe by the end of our session here today, I will feel better. I hope you don’t charge too much.

So here goes.

What’s that? You want to know what’s got me down? I know, I know, I should be celebrating the fact that one year later, we still have our son, some people are not that lucky! He is in remission, he’s going to school, and other than a few remaining side effects, he is basically like any other child.

But no, instead I am feeling, well, pretty ungrateful. Ok, I might as well admit it (but only because you dragged it out of me, Doctor.), I’m ANGRY.

I have some new friends now, other moms with cancer kids. Some of them are waiting for results this week.  So I am waiting for them to get the results and to feel ok enough to let everyone else know. It’s stressful. I want the treatment to work for everyone.

I feel like getting angry at cancer. No I AM angry at cancer! How dare it?!? How could it?!? Why???

Why is it so unfair?

But speaking of unfair… A few months ago there was a horrific bus crash here in Switzerland, where many children were killed instantly. It was all people could talk about for days. The kids were coming home from a school trip. Some parents received letters from their child a week later, telling them about the trip. They had already buried their children when the letters arrived. How fair is that?

Ok well this session is not helping much, you are not a very good psychoanalyst, why did you make me think of an even worse scenario?!?!?

Were you hoping I would see that my case is “not so bad” comparatively? Were you thinking I would decide that I might as well take advantage of all the time I have with Elliot, while he is healthy and so am I, because we never know what could be just around the corner, cancer or otherwise?

Yeah, I see your point.  I also know, that no matter what happens, I would not choose another child over this one. He’s the one I want, cancer and all.

I wonder if my health insurance will cover this therapy session. It seems to have worked.

I think I’ll go look at Elliot  while he’s sleeping now. Goodnight.

With his polar bear, of course

2 thoughts on “I Choose This Child”

  1. C’est sur que la vie n’est pas toujours facile, et je pense qu’on doit exprimer le bon et le mauvais. La vie est un drame et pas une comédie. Mais ce qui est important est que même si on a des moments difficile, on puisse se lever la tête et dire tant pis au cancer, tant pis à tout ce qui est pas juste, moi je vais vivre ma vie et même dans des moments horribles je vais trouver le temps de sourire, d’apprécier mais jamais simplement accepter. C’est ce qui est insipirant dans l’histoire d’Elliot, Julie et ta mère. On a tous un peu de Super Hero en nous – et c’est bien de le laisser sortir.

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