Today's post is coming to you deep in the trenches of motherhood....Arm in arm, my youngest child and I are trying to get him better and claim victory over the ever persistent Influenza B. Ugh. The worst part of this whole experience, is that I can't just take it all away for him. I'm trying so hard to make him comfortable, happy and even smile from time to time, but he just feels lousy. Being a caregiver is hard work! If I"m being honest, when I was sick, there was some peace to be said for it being ME with cancer and not any of my children or loved ones. I was ok with taking the bullet if it meant they would all be ok. I often felt overwhelming guilt, especially for my parents, that they had to watch one of their children go through the fight of their life. That's not the way it is supposed to be. I think this made me brave the storm with even more strength and determination because I did not want my parents to see me hurting. I felt like somehow, I let them down. I know this is CRAZY talk, but I hate causing the people I love so much pain. So using that angerI felt about the situation only fueled my fight even more. I remember a specific moment on the very exhausting day of all of my diagnostic scans and the day before I received my treatment plan, my mom said these words to me: "If I could give you what's left of my life to just make you ok, I would do it." -This statement in some ways haunts me to this day, because now she is battling some medical issues and I am the one at this point healthy. I feel like she made a deal with the devil on that day, but I also know she was just being Mom. I would do and say the same thing if it were one of my own children. When I was in the ICU, I was really quite of out of it, but I remember my dad sitting in the chair in the corner of that room that was filled with so many monitors, machines and life saving devices everywhere. He was just sitting there watching over me. He didn't really talk to me that much (that I remember anyway) because I was seriously not very coherent at times, but he was there. Just his presence made me feel at peace, yet also ready to be in ultra battle mode. These people whom I love very much are my heroes. They gave me life and they give me so much strength. They have incredible Superpowers and through their strength and belief in me, I'm starting to find that I have some of my own.
During my battle I experienced many moments, traumas, heartache and of course victories that have molded me. True to any journey of a lifetime (good or bad), I've learned a lot about myself. I've learned how to be a better person, a better parent, a better friend and how to be just a better version of myself. I've also learned about some of my Superpowers. This week standing in the doctor's office with my five year old, I held him in my arms while rocking side to side. I felt his loving arms wrapped around my neck. I felt powerless of the situation, but powerful in my ability to handle it and bring him peace and comfort. I knew I had the incredible ability to make everything alright for him, despite the situation we were finding ourselves in. Where I once saw incredible stress, I now see opportunity. An opportunity of living, loving and experiencing the good, bad or ugly...all of which were almost taken from me too soon. One of my new found Superpowers, is finding the calm in the chaos. I see challenges as a way defining who I am and what I've learned. I'm not saying it is always easy or that I don't loose my shit a little now and then, but I know that the alternative is to not be here, experiencing life. That is not an option for me right now. I also consider my gift of perspective a Superpower. My ability to truly not sweat the small stuff is so not normal for people my age! It makes me feel a little isolated from my peer group that keeping up with the Jones' or even caring who the Jones' are is not on my radar...at all. I've been given the gift (and at times burden) of knowing the value of a moment and which moments mean absolutely nothing once you've reached the end. Rather than worrying that it makes me at risk for seeming standoffish or not interested in some people or situations, I know I've just realized what shit is important and what is not. That's a legit Superpower. Finally, the Superpower I hold dearest to my heart, is knowing that I can fight. I can battle and I can stand tall during the most turbulent of times. When most people fold, I keep going...and I try to put a positive spin on what I'm doing and how I'm going to see it through. That kind of determination, mindset and willpower is, in my opinion, the greatest Superpower of all. Cancer is hard, but my Superpowers are indestructible. I will continue to use my Superpowers to rise up and face new challenges that are no doubt coming my way. Hopefully in the process, I will find even more Superpowers that I didn't even know I had. Take some time and reflect on your life. You've endured hard things, I know you have! How did you get through it? It wasn't just luck or by chance. You are a damn Superhero....be proud and acknowledge how your Superpowers have gotten you to where you are today. We owe it to ourselves to learn from our experiences, rise from the ashes and find strength in our ability and willingness to become the absolute greatest version of ourselves. Keep. On. Killing It-M