An Open Letter From a Cancer Mom/Ope Brief van ‘n Kanker-Ma


From one onco mom to another…

Have you ever had the feeling you lose all your Mom-powers when you walk into the hospital?

Have you ever felt that anger when they stick your child with needles and push pipes into him and inject him with poison and there’s nothing you can do about it?

Ever felt the mistrust when you look into your child eyes and you know that you lied, that it will hurt?

Ever had the feeling of unimaginable pain when the child of another onco-couple loses the fight and you wonder when it’s going to be your turn?

Ever experienced that feeling of speechlessness when your child comes to you and asks you when Jesus is coming to fetch her home?

Ever felt as if the Earth is trying to suck you in and you can’t get out when those theatre doors close behind you?

Ever felt that you could murder someone with your bare hands when they make stupid remarks about your child?

Ever felt that you want to run away and sit in a corner and just forget about everything for a little while?

How do you know when you’ve reached the limit of the amount of bad news you can take? Everyone always wants to know how things are going and if you’re still strong enough. It’s as if they expect that you’ll have a nervous breakdown any moment, and no-one knows what do do if Mom starts crying uncontrollably… except that they’re standing there with the psychologist’s number all ready… I mean freaking HELL!

Definitely my experience!

My life fell apart the day I found out my child has cancer. Every time you hear bad news another little piece of your heart breaks and it’s as if you eventually have no more tears left. What you have in place of tears is an unquenchable rage and hardness, and unfortunately the person who phones first is the one to be attacked.

Someone just has to look funny at your child’s bald head and you feel like you’re about to lose your mind and attack him. But then you get the ones who will actually tell you off for cutting your little daughter’s hair so short, she looks like a boy. So forgive me if I don’t always have my moods under control, but sometimes it’s just flippin’ impossible.

You don’t always want to hear that you must be strong and you must keep believing; it’s very difficult if you’re constantly being given bad news. The cherry on the cake is when the doctors tell you that there’s nothing more they can do for your child, you should just all go home and wait and carry on as normal. How the hell does a person go on as normal?

So, to every cancer mother out there:

You are allowed to be angry
You are allowed to shout and scream
You are allowed to be tired
You are allowed to get sick
You ARE ALLOWED to cry!

We are also just human, we don’t have super-powers, being strong isn’t our only option, we are going to cry and get angry, we are going to get sick and tired, so stop watching us like hawks and waiting for us to fall apart. For us there is only one thing to focus on and that is GOOD NEWS about our children. You live every single day for that extra bit of hope that today will be a pain-free/medicine-free day.

Theresa Nieuwenhuis


Van een Onko-mamma aan ‘n ander…

Al ooit gevoel asof al jou mamma-magte verloor as jy by ‘n hospitaal se deure in stap?

Al ooit daai woede ervaar as hulel jou kind met naalde steek en aan pype koppel en gif inspuit en daar is nie iets daaromtrent dit wat jy kan doen nie?

Al ooit die gevoel van ontrouheid gekry as jy jou kindertjie in die oë kyk en jy weet jy’t gejok…dit gaan seer wees?

Al ooit die gevoel van onmenslike pyn ervaar as jy hoor van ‘n ander onko-paar wat se kleinding die stryd verloor het en jy wonder wanneer is dit jou beurt?

Al ooit die gevoel van sprakeloosheid ervaar as jou kind na jou toe kom en vra wanneer Liewe Jesus haar kom haal?

Al ooit gevoel die aarde probeer jou insluk en jy kan nie uitkom as daai teater deure agter jou toeslaan nie?

Al ooit gevoel jy kan iemand met jou kaal hande vermoor as hulle stupid aanmerkings maak oor jou kind?

Al ooit gevoel dat jy wil weghardloop en ‘n hoekie gaan sit en net van alles vergeet al is dit net vir ‘n rukkie?

Wanneer weet mens hoeveel keer is genoeg slegte nuus ontvang? Almal wil altyd weet hoe dit gaan en of jy nog sterk genoeg is. Dit is asof hulle wag dat jy enige oomblik ineen gaan stort en almal raak verboureerd as mamma die dag onbedaarlik huil… en dan staan hulle mos reg met ‘n sielkundige se nommer… I mean freaking HELL!

Wel my experience!

My lewe het in duie gestort die dag toe ek uitvind my kind het kanker. Elke keer wat jy slegte nuus hoor breek daar nog ‘n stukkie van jou hart af en dit is asof jy naderhand nie meer trane het nie maar hierdie onbedaarlike woede en hardheid en ongelukkig kry die persoon die aanval wat eerste bel.

Iemand kyk net skeef na jou kind se kaal koppie en jy wil mal word en hom aanrand. Maar dan kry jy mos natuurlik mense wat jou blatant uitskel oor die feit dat jy jou klein meisietjie se hare so kort afskeer, sy lyk dan soos ‘n seuntjie. So vergewe my as ek nie altyd my moods kan beheer nie maar dit is partykeer flippen onmoontlik.

Jy wil nie altyd hoor dat jy moet sterk wees nie en jy moet bly glo nie, dit is vrek moeilik as jy konstante slegte nuus ontvang en wat die kersie op die koek sit is as jy vertel word deur die medici dat hulle niks verder vir jou kind kan doen nie, nou moet julle net wag en normaal aangaan! Hoe die hel gaan ‘n mens normaal aan?

So aan elke kanker mamma daar buite:

Jy mag kwaad word
Jy mag skel
Jy mag moeg word
Jy mag siek word
Jy MAG huil!

Ons is ook net mens, ons het nie super magte nie, sterk wees is ons enigste opsie, ons gaan huil en kwaad word, ons gaan moeg en siek word, so hou op om ons met valk oë dop te hou en te wag vir wanneer ons gaan val. Vir ons is daar net 1 ding om op te fokus en dit is GOEIE NUUS oor jou kind. Jy leef elke dag net vir daai ekstra stukkie hoop dat vandag ‘n pynlose/medisyne-vrye dag gaan wees.

Theresa Nieuwenhuis




About LFCT

This is a blog about CHILDHOOD CANCER and CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Little Fighters Cancer Trust is a non-profit organisation that offers support and aid to Children with Cancer and their families. When a child is diagnosed with cancer it affects the whole family. One of the parents, usually the mother, must give up their job to care for the child and this creates financial problems for the family. In South Africa especially the majority of these families are not well-to-do; many of them are rural. A diagnosis of cancer can wipe out any family’s finances, let alone a poor family. The costs of special medications, special diets, hospital stays, transport to and from the hospital or clinic and accommodation and food costs for the mother who spends most of the time at her child’s bedside are astronomical. These are the people and problems that fall through the cracks, and these are the people that Little Fighters Cancer Trust has pledged to help in any way possible. LFCT takes a holistic approach to assisting the Children with Cancer and their Families, with the main aim to be the preservation of individual dignity and pride. Little Fighters Cancer Trust also focuses on promotion and advocacy of National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase awareness of Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. This would result in earlier diagnosis, giving the Child with Cancer more of a chance at Treatment and Survival. See "About" for more Background info

Posted on 31 May, 2014, in Blog, Onco Parents. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Cancer Moms are amongst the BRAVEST people in the world ~ thank you for sharing your story


  2. How sad your story is and how brave you are!


  3. Theresa Nieuwenhuis you are so brave! Yes, you can cry…. it helps you to renew yourself and face the world again….


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