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Brought to My Knees

On Tuesday I spent a few hours in the pediatric unit of Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute meeting with one of the top Pediatric Onocolgist in NYC.

Life is something that all of us are given without choice.
But we do have a choice in how we want to live it.
Over the past few wks I have been humbled.  I have been emotionally strangled, feeling as if I would take my last breath soon.

I think I’m a talker, a socialite, a joker and Miss Personality and hearing that something could possibly change the direction of my life but more importantly my child’s life brought me to a very quiet place.

Over the past few wks I withdrew and didn’t care much about anything because nothing mattered anymore.
I tried to put on a happy face, maybe make a ‘happy’ post on FB here & there but inside I was crying.

When you hear the words, ‘solid mass,’ your brain instantaneously goes numb. When your child asks the Dr., “Do you think I have cancer?” You sit there unable to speak, in shock at his directness and maturity but still unable to process the direction the conversation is going in because it is impossible. Your child is healthy and there is absolutely nothing wrong with him.

When the Dr. answers him…that’s when you feel your soul start to leave your body.

A few wks go by. A couple radiology exams are given.
Now here we are at Sloan, in our back yard but where so many people travel from all over the world to get the best medical treatment. As we sit and wait, my son with his head in my lap, I gently run my fingers through his long curly locks of hair.
A small child walks past us and though laughing and seemingly happy, has a mask covering her mouth.
I feel guilty, my son has beautiful hair -she has none -from her chemo treatments.
My son looks at her & quickly looks up to the ceiling, his eyes slightly fill w/water.
I know he feels bad for her. I know he his scared for himself.

I am petrified.

We are both quiet and do not speak.

I recall conversations with the Dr. Words go through my brain. Not sentences- I didn’t hear any. I only heard words. Imperative, prudent, enlarged, blood flow, mass, benign, advisable.

We sit and we wait.
After a long exam, review of reports, a lengthy conversation,
my precious son, by the grace of God is given a green light & though will have to be seen in 2 months there is no need to worry.

A mother’s love for her child is undoubtedly the strongest kind of love that exist in this world. When something is wrong that is not fixable or controllable we can’t function.

Embrace your child. Tell him or her you love them to pieces.
Pick your battles wisely- because as I have learned recently, nothing matters. Absolutely nothing, except health & a good state of mind.

You just don’t know what life will throw at you. One minute life is grand & you are thriving and then you discover a lump… And life changes.

I have always considered myself a religious person.

Faced with thinking my baby has cancer — the breaks went on to God.
I stopped praying. I stopped saying my Hail Mary’s. I stopped talking. Life just stopped.
And I didn’t care.

I am grateful beyond words that my son is “healthy.”
I recently read that if you humble yourself, God will exalt you. If you don’t God will do it for you. Well I guess he did it for me. And now I am thankful & tell the Lord as much.

I was brought to my knees in despair and in tears that flowed for days & weeks on command.

There is nothing anyone can do to me to hurt me. Nothing. No words nor actions.

Now I stand here, my faith stronger than ever. I am stronger than ever.
I’m Ready for whatever comes next.

Life is good.

No, life is fkn horrible! It’s cruel & challenging BUT you only get 1. So what do you want to do with it? How are you going to face things that come at you sideways?
Be quiet, be strong, have faith & be fierce.

I know what I’m not going to do. I’m not going to complain about things I have no control over.
I’m not going to get upset if dishes don’t get done or my son didn’t put his laundry away. Because it just doesn’t matter.

Life matters. Love matters, that’s all that matters.
Just love your child, your family unconditionally. And make sure they know undoubtedly that your love is without judgement.

Walking back through the waiting room w/pictures on the wall in 3D & an amazing fish tank a little boy drove by in a big wheel. The nurse said, “Look at you!”
The mother said, “His birthday is tomorrow.”
I looked at the mother & told her her baby was adorable. Happy birthday. It’s my sons birthday tomorrow to.
She said glancing in my sons direction,  “Happy birthday.” Her baby was staying. Mine is leaving.

Outside I feel the air coming back into my lungs. I feel the tightness that has been gripping my chest ease.
My son stops on the corner of 2d Ave & East 68th St. He looks at me, extends his arms out & gives me a huge hug.
No words are necessary from him. Then he said quietly, “I love you.”
I told him, “I love you more than my own life.”

I share this because I want you to recognize what’s important in life. We tend to take life for granted.

Humble yourself before you are humbled & brought down to your knees to feel scared, helpless and given a heartache like you can’t imagine.

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