Late Night Thoughts of A Mother Whose Child Has Cancer (13)
Ethan got a star for knowing his numbers
Herewith the latest article as penned by Ethan’s Mom, Gila Jacobs, on her feelings as an Onco Mom dealing with the daily trials and tribulations of cancer. As originally explained, this article is posted as is to maintain integrity and passion.
It’s 4am and I can’t sleep because I’m bothered, and I decided while looking at my son (now in remission) sleeping soundly that I need to share my bad experience with other Onco Parents to warn them. To warn them how sometimes those closest to you can cut you so deep because your child is different. Because your child is a survivor.
I had a very close family member to me… very close… who knew everything about my son’s diagnosis, chemo sessions, countless surgeries, and 20 days of back to back anesthetic for radiation… go and attack my mother for us giving my son more attention than we gave to her 2yr old son at a family event. Yes, just read that again… she is upset because we do not spend AS MUCH time talking to and playing with her son and we over-protect my little cancer survivor by watching him and pulling him away from her son. This is the sin we are accused of and being literally crucified for. REALLY???
I am still baffled at not only the accusations but also the drama it has caused, a major rift in the entire family because this person cannot just be grateful and praise God for the 2 beautiful, intelligent and HEALTHY children she is blessed with. I would give anything for the possibility of even having anything close to that normality. We don’t. We still sit on the edge of our seats every 3 months when we take my child to check-ups… blood test and x-rays and just hoping there is no sign of returning cancer cells… We still have to be careful of his fragile bone area where the cancer was removed from his leg, if he fell wrong he could break this leg.
We are still dealing with his delayed speech and delayed development as his development had to take a back seat to bio-hazardous chemicals being pumped into his fragile body. We still helping him learn proper social behaviour, he is so introverted due to 2 years of isolation and does not do well in new environments with lots of strange people. We still need to watch my child’s body language very close as his vocabulary is coming along but at a slow pace. He cannot say outright if he was hurt, and his nature is not to complain, so we have to protect him by always being close by in new environments.
In the past I did sometimes envy her… thinking about how my son would look if he never had cancer. Would he have spoken as well as her son, be as confident? Have a nice plump body with rosy cheeks like her son? Would he have sung songs and make actions and not be shy? I did have those thoughts… I know better now.
I just want to warn all other Onco parents out there, this sounds crazy but it happened. People don’t understand the trauma of a Little Fighter and much less the trauma of his family and caregivers. Non-Onco parents don’t have a clue about the care and emotion involved in raising a child who could get cancer again tomorrow simply because their risk is so high! Remission does not mean cure!! This person has ripped my heart out of body and trampled on the very short lived joy we had over the past year that my son was off treatment.
How do you EVER tell Onco parents or grandparents that they should “let go” of their child more? How do you not understand as a mother yourself, that when death threatens your child… your whole being changes. How do you scold a grandmother of a cancer survivor for being over protective? HOW????????? How do you become jealous about a 4 year old who has beaten cancer? How do you just throw the gift of grace and healing into God’s face like that?
I don’t know what tomorrow holds for any of us, but I do know these miracle children who are surviving cancer and those who are fighting for their very lives are way too special to not be stood up for. These survivors are not done fighting when the treatment is over… they will be left with scars, with trauma, with issues far beyond what a normal child has to deal with. These miracle children deserve to be prayed for, they deserve to be acknowledged as warriors, and they have conquered. Even if their bodies are weaker, their emotional state more fragile or their mannerisms are different… it doesn’t matter simply because they are still alive!!!
My name is Gila Jacobs, my son Ethan is recovering from cancer. My husband and I are recovering from shock, stress, financial burdens due to medical bills and plain and simple exhaustion. This is our story.
Ethan, you are a Wonderful, Brave Little Fighter and Little Fighters Cancer Trust wishes you everything of the best that the future can offer. May all your dreams come true!