Things I learned from Cancer 101 (8)
When we mess up, immediately, we seek an excuse. We’re only human. How many times have you heard that? Or said it yourself?
To be human is sort of a given, I mean, I doubt you could be anything else, right?
But to be human is not an excuse for mistakes. One mistake is just that, a mistake……….but the second time you make the same mistake, it has become a choice.
Most of the time, our choices are good ones. To go to the best college, who to marry, which dress to wear…….Roll Tide or War Eagle.
I heard once…”I’d rather die than to take any more chemotherapy”
WHAT???? Are you crazy?
Now, I understand. It becomes a choice of quality over quantity. So often choices we make are selfish, made with ourselves as the number one consideration.
When it comes to a child with cancer, decisions become much harder to make. ” Well, there is no decision to be made. I want my child healthy and whole, no matter what the cost.”
We all do.
It’s our job as a parent, to want the best for our children and set out to obtain it. But what if the best is painful? During Austin‘s treatments, I remember Aaron, my son casually mentioning a slight irritation with his wife, Allison.
Now being the mother that I am and that my children know me to be, I wanted to get defensive and take his side. But instead I found myself saying…”Don’t tell me about arguments because you are mine, and I love you. I will always take your side, but………….you are not always going to be right.
Our heavenly Father is the same way after all, He is where we learn it. He is always on our side, even if and when we are not right, but yet He loves us.
The best for Austin was three years of Chemotherapy and oral medicines. On a particularly difficult day, we tried to give Austin his chemo med in pill form. Every single time, he would throw it right back up. We knew how desperately he needed this medicine and we were desperate to get it down. We tried, water, milk, cool aid, holding his nose, a syringe. Nothing worked.
I asked Allison to go and call the Doctor and ask if we could get this medicine in a liquid form. Maybe we could get it down and it would be easier for him. By this time we were all in tears and Austin was exhausted.
Allison returned. Her face pale and tired. She looked that way a lot for those three years. She never stopped. Not once did she say, “I quit” She was strong and knew that she had to be for her son. That’s what we mothers do
“What did he say” I asked “It doesn’t come in liquid form” she replied. “Well why not? Don’t they know how hard it is for a two year old to swallow a pill?” “I asked him the same question. He just said that it doesn’t come in liquid form because, babies aren’t supposed to get cancer.”
Oh my poor baby! My heart ached those three years for him. My own cancer was never as painful to me as his was for me.
Nothing about that time is pleasant for me to remember.
Nothing about that time is happy for any of us. But I will tell you this…. I love that boy! He is special in more ways than one.
The innocence of childhood protected him and insulated his little mind from so much. He doesn’t remember some of it, he was only a baby. But he does know the way to St. Jude. If he is in the car and see’s his surroundings, he can tell you really quick, ” I don’t wanna go to St. Jude!”
Aren’t we all the same? I don’t wanna go! I don’t wanna! I don’t want to have to deal with cancer, it is physically and emotionally painful. Well, guess what? Put on your big girl panties and deal with it!! That is one place, one circumstance that you have NO choice.
You know what, if I find out there was a choice about this cancer business, I’m gonna really be pissed!!! I had no choice, Austin had no choice. Not about cancer, not about treatment.
The beast. I hate the beast! I wish IT would get cancer and die!!
Now, having said all of that, I want you to know………the next thing cancer taught me is that life is about choices……..good ones, bad ones, ones we didn’t make, all of them come together to make us who we are.
But, the most important thing to remember about your choices is this……………they always affect some one else. We don’t get to be selfish all the time. Our actions, though our own, affect the people around us. Whether for better or worse.
I choose to be happy, never trusting any one else with such an important part of my life. My happiness. It’s all up to me. You see GOD gives us that choice to make. HE doesn’t coerce us, or force us to love him.
My earthly father has never forced me to love him, I just do! I don’t question that love, it’s just there.
All I have to do is love him back.
And I choose to do just that…………..love him back
I choose life, happiness and most of all………..My Saviour
Choice……..means one of a number of things from which only one can be chosen
I did, and I didn’t need cancer to teach me that, I already knew that!!!