We all have the power to make our own choices in life. We choose what to wear, where to go, who we see, and what we think is best. Not only for ourselves, but for others also. And our choices have ripple effects. We think that whatever choice we make only affects us, but that’s not true. We never know where our choices will take us or what effect they will have in the years to come.
Recently, my oldest son got into some trouble and at first, I was upset by the choices he had made, but now I blame myself.
I taught my son’s from the time that they were about twelve years old that there are some things that mom just can’t fix. I wanted them to tow the line and be responsible for the choices they made.
My oldest son was diagnosed with leukemia three weeks before he turned eleven. Having a child with cancer is traumatic. As a parent, after the initial shock of your life being turned upside down, you find you have to keep moving forward. You still have to work. You still have to clean the house, do the laundry, and cook. If you have other children they still have to be taken care of. They need you too.
All you want is for your child not to be sick and not to be in pain. You want them to be healthy again. And you make the choices to do everything possible to make their life easier. You worry about them. You pamper them and you spoil them. You want them to live.
But you can’t do everything. Some parents get counseling, some don’t. Some parents just walk away. And even though this is traumatic for us, it’s even worse for our children. My son has always been ashamed of having cancer. To him, it is a stigma. Maybe he feels as if he was being punished for doing something wrong. I don’t know.
What I do know now is that he should have had counseling to deal with the emotions he was going through. In fact, I think it should be part of their protocol right along with chemo, radiation, blood tests, spinal taps, and bone marrow aspirations.
The parent hurts for the child, but it’s the child who has to go through all of this. Even if you are right there by their side, they are still going through it alone, and that is the major reason for them to get counseling.
My son isn’t the first childhood cancer survivor to get into trouble and I’m sure he won’t be the last. And now I believe that it’s very important for them to get counseling while they are going through their treatment. Will it help? I’m not sure. But it’s a choice I wish I would have made.
I will end this with my philosophy, “Treat every day as a new adventure because you never know what tomorrow might bring.” It worked for me 30 years ago and it still works today. It keeps me strong and keeps me moving forward.
And I’d like to add to it as we leave 2017 behind. “Take one day at a time, stay strong, keep the faith, be careful what you wish for, don’t make promises that you can’t keep, and make your choices wisely.”
I will see you all in 2018.
Hugs till then!
Happy New Year!