No One Is Reading? So I can tell you…

Blog Challenge: Blogging like No one is reading

The story of a young mum who turned old in a day. How did I deal (or didn’t) with my kid’s cancer?

Last week I turned 37.  I don’t feel young. I don’t feel old. I just don’t know how I feel. I remember my 30 ‘s birthday party. At that time I already felt somewhere lost in the vortex of time and age. I was 30 and my baby girl was bald. She was bald from chimio.

I was 27 when I had my first kid, the beautiful brunette you can see on the pictures on the blog. She was 20 months when they discovered she suffered from kidney cancer. I’ll skip the whole medical details and focus on me. How did I recover from that ordeal?

I had to forget about myself, about my couple, about everything for one fucking year. That was the high crisis year: full of medical details that I should probably tell about to the readers that are not reading, hum?

After this year, I didn’t feel the same. I’ve never felt the same again. I was changed. Completly. Of course I suffered of anxiety, anger and so on… but mostly and that remains now… it changed my vision on life!

After 7 years now, I can look at this time and think, observe myself… At first I was in the urge to LIVE. Having a lot of parties and wine to celebrate life, to celebrate the end of chimio, to celebrate and try to forget. Then I felt exhausted. I looked around to see that a lot of friends and family weren’t able to support us. So I felt sad and lonely. And maybe a little bit angry also… ok ok there was a lot of anger!!!

It was so hard to manage with this question: how to live this life if it can be taken from us so young? I had very strange thoughts… Like I was trying to prepare myself for the worst: death. I was making scenarios in my private little crazy running mind. « What if husband dies? What will I do? Ok first I sell the house, second I change city. I would put all his stuff there and give those precious memories to his family…. » And so on.

And I did the same scenario for my baby girl of course and for myself and my parents…

Ahhhh my crazy never stopping mind!

Finally the non readers that you are will surely ask about what helped me?

Time I think, a lot of time I needed. (Sorry about the Yoda speaking)

The medical stuff that I will surely share one day got lighter, and lighter and finally almost stopped. The anxiety followed the same path. But didn’t totally stopped of course.

It was pretty hard for us as a couple, to have another child. It was not a medical issue but a psychological issue. We were so afraid to « build » another sick child. Of course it’s stupid and not at all scientific! We knew that. But sometimes the crazy thoughts are stronger than the realistic ones. Time helped and therapy helped and a lot of other things that we both as parents went through, dessicated, digested. And one day, gingerboy came to our family.

Our kids are now 9 and 4, they are healthy, they have their own ups and downs, nothing linked with cancer but just normal life. They have parents who feel like they lived several lifes in one life. We feel connected with older people who have older children or with people who went through hard time in their lifes. Because when we party as this saturday for husband 40’s birthday party, sometimes, we can have a shadow thought coming around us. Usually it will fly away very quickly and sometimes not. We are not innocent anymore. We have to deal with those shadows. Our ghosts.

Thanks for my non readers to not have read this. I knew I needed to write about this from a long time. This blog exchange group and challenge helped me. And hey husband! If you are passing by and reading this please leave a comment to share your own words. Even in French!

Cathy

 

  • Thanks for sharing your story – I can imagine that it must have been a harrowing time and would have brought up so many thoughts and emotions that most people don’t have to deal with at such an age. I am so glad to hear that your daughter is well again and that you are doing so much better too. Enjoy the 40th party!

    • Thanks Emma. Now that I finally shared this part of my life, I think I will feel better. I never wrote about it. Writing is also therapeutical… xx cathy

  • Thanks so much for sharing your story. I can relate to the whole grieving process, although from my own health perspective while watching my family feel rather hopeless in how they could help me.

    You should definitely touch base with Tamara James in our group her blog, who has gone through this as well.

    • There is a lot in common between what we went through as parents and what an adult go through when dealing with fucking cancer! I felt very close to a friend who was sick at the same time than my daughter. We shared and laughed like devils about the medical aspect. Humour did help a lot. But of course not everyone can understand when you are joking about hair loss! xx cathy

  • Oh, you so brave, I know what courage it has taken to share your story. You’ve been though so much, but I’m so pleased you’ve come out the other side. Eden once said that cancer is like a shadow, you can never out run it, it’s like it’s always there, but you know what? Where there’s shadow, there’s always light. Look for the light! Hugs for you, my friend xx

    • Yeah Master Yoda! I’m on the other side of the force now! I think I’m dating to much a little Vador or something here! haha. See? Didn’t lose my sense of humor yet! I love the shadow and light metaphore. Yes, cancer sticks to you as a vampire! We just have to look at the bright side as a good friend of mine says, know what I mean? ps: for all your support, You I thank. hahaha xxx cathy

  • Cathy, thank you so much for sharing this and I hope that you feel lighter because of it. I’m so glad that you have your beautiful girl (and Ginger boy). I hope that you dance at the party like nobody is watching! x

    • Thanks dear! At least I feel I’m more me with you my dear readers. That’s already a good point! All the lovely comments open to me a possibility to share more. And I have a lot to share about all the strategies that helped us for example! I love that! Dance like nobody is watching! Excellent! xx cathy

  • This is so heart wrenching. Thank you for sharing so honestly. It never really feels over does it! I love Sammie’s comment « where there is shadow there is always light ». You know what? It is okay to talk about not being okay… to talk about still having fears and anxiety. Acknowledge it all… and yes, definitely dance at the party like nobody is watching. Much love to you Xx

    • Well I totally agree but you know how hard is to find some people ready to listen to you (except your shrink obviously haha) telling you’re not ok! They don’t like that! Definitly it doesn’t go away easily! thanks dear. xx cathy

  • Wow, we never know the journey of others unless we take the time to pause and be still in their presence. What a journey you and your family have had and what courage you have shown to share your journey. Thank you for sharing, I wish you so much strength and support. I can imagine your ghosts, and wish you to be free of them. Thank you for sharing. Big love! xxx

    • Thanks for your lovely message. Reading all those messages really helps. That was a hell of a journey but now that she has only one medical appointment per year, it seems that it’s finally finished! I think I need to share more about that journey to cure my mind! xx cathy

  • What a brave lady you are with total courage to share this part of you and let us in to know more about you. So lovely to hear that you have two children to share your life with. x

    • Thanks dear. I really needed to do it and wanted to do it for a few months. I’m so happy to have met such a supportive team of bloggers ladies! xx cathy

  • writeofthemiddle

    Wow Cathy – what a scary thing you lived through. I know how much courage it would have taken to share this story and your thoughts about how you managed your way through it. You know what, I think a lot of us have those thoughts like – what would i do if my husband died, or how would I ever cope if I lost one of my kids? My mind has gone there but admittedly quickly retreats because it’s too scary and painful to contemplate. I’m so happy that today you have two healthy and happy kids! 🙂

    • Sure we are anxious little human beings! Aren’t we all? Maybe we need to think about it to overcome this anxious idea of death. We survived for one year and now we live. Even with some shadows or ghosts around us. Husband didn’t comment on the post yet but he was touched to read it. That might be helpful for both of us! xx

  • Thank you for sharing this Cathy. I had no idea since I am a new e-friend of yours. Grief and the fear of the unknown can send me bonkas too. I think learning about the stages of grief was vital for me because I knew when I was in the Angry stage, that Hopeful wasn’t too far away. I am so glad both your children are healthy today. Pugs and Kisses xo

    • You’re right! What we learnt in therapy or even in books, in parents discussion groups helped a lot. We need to know where we are going. Still, I can’t see a movie with kids dealing with cancer! Too emotional for me yet! But I learnt so much from this journey that now I know I have some abilities to help people differently. Pugs pugs dear!

  • Thank you so much for sharing your story. Truthfully, I can’t even imagine the journey your family have gone through, but I am so so glad that you have all made it out the other side. Much love to you xx

    • Thank you Jane. The other side is good!!! And a lot funnier! I really need to kick away the last remaining ghosts! xx cathy

  • Oh Cathy.. I had no idea you have been through so much. Thank you so much for sharing this side of your story hun – you are one incredibly brave and strong woman to have come out the other side like you have. May the healing continue always xx

    • Omg Sonia! Why parenting is just so hard? Why do I have to help now gingerboy to cope with his own anxiety? Couldn’t they just be average kids like hey I’m a kid and I have no problems! No need to worry for me! I will need to write about him too now that I opened the space… let’s do it!
      ps: The bazooka didn’t work but the pirat sword worked! 😉 xx

  • Your kids have strong parents is all I can say! Hope your dear hubby has a great celebration! xx

    • You know that’s what people said to us!!! Surely we were stronger than we thought we might ever be! See? Little Vador is on the good force side! xx

  • Pfiou… I have no word…

  • Bertie

    I am the husband …. Cathy what could I say … Share our deepest fears is really difficult even with our husband or wife. And when it is about our kids it is worse.
    One day a nuclear bomb explosed in me, in us. The shock wave was terrible. During the announcement at the hospital consternation prevents me from understanding what takes place.Then it is the free-fall towards places which you do not know (which you do not never want to know). But love for our child was stronger than the fear and the pain. Ok, it is easy to write now but it is true. It is love of a mother and a father for her child who allows to survive in this event. But we forget ourselves. Cathy you explained it so well.

    Like a real nuclear bomb the shock wave was multiple and persistent. Even after 7 years I can fell it really close sometimes. She is hidden in ambush. I have to fight or just look at this little girl who quarrels with his brother. « The show must go on ».

    Cathy we were, we are and we will be a team, a really good team. I am proud to be with you. I love you Amourette 😉

  • Lucy @ Bake Play Smile

    Geez wow Cathy. What an incredible brave woman you are. I had no idea about your story. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to go through that time of your life. Thank goodness your kids are healthy now xx

    • Yeah that’s my dark shadows that I still carry. But we also learn a lot in that time. The big girl is living such a normal life now that the past seems far. xx

  • Kirsty @ My Home Truths

    Thanks for sharing this very hard part of your life with us non-readers, Cathy. I have very close friends who unfortunately lost their beautiful boy to this insidious disease a long time ago. It’s so hard as friends and family to watch people close to us face such a battle. Most of the time I didn’t know what to say. I just tried to be there as much as I could but it never felt like it was enough x

    • Thanks Kirsty. That’s exactly the subject that I would like to talk about: how to react as friends and family when someone is facing his child’s illness. You being just there for them is already very much. Some people are quite afraid to face the suffering, especially when it’s about a child. And by the way, nothing will ever be enough, I mean losing a child after this batle is so traumatic and unfair than I think we could just be there and not be afraid to see the grief. xx cathy

  • Each day I wake up and I give thanks that my babies are safe and healthy. I can not imagine the ordeal you’ve had with a baby is cancer. You are one TOUGH lady.

    • Thanks dear! I think i hadn’t have any choice at the time. Had to be tough! But afterwards I felt very tired and anxious. Finally we have a special bind with this child! And she is who she is because of everything she was through. She is the toughest kid I know! xx

  • Oh I just read Bertie’s comments and started crying. I had no idea you went through this – I’m so happy for you that you have 2 healthy and happy kids now xx

    • Bertie (real name Bertrand) often makes that effect on people! 😉 We went through this together but cope quite differently. I think he’s still very touched by this and we don’t talk often about it. Everyday we see her growing up and playing and learning, we’re just happy. Even if we feel the need to protect her more than another child (but that’s just in our head!, she doesn’t need us and is a very independant child!) xx cathy

  • I finally sat down and properly read this. You are so courageous and inspiring. I couldn’t even imagine what that time must have been like for you and your husband, and of course for your baby girl. She has such a strong mum and dad! And then I read your husband’s comments and started to cry. What a team! xxx

    • See now how I become so interested in healthy living. So many doctors and medicine for a toddler girl! And too many for her parents! I felt I need to do something myself, like to take control of something in our life, and it was about healthy food! xx

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