A year after cancer

I have trouble sometimes, in this year after cancer, living between two worlds:

Not one, and not yet the other.

The world of mommy-ing, happily bustling, learning, and growing, and

The world of the sick.

Most days I go with gusto, at full speed, loving every minute of it, but

Sometimes I hurt.

Most days we play and laugh and build and learn and run around with friends, and

Sometimes I ache.

Most days we’re busy from morning to night, and beyond, as I read and cuddle them to sleep, but

Sometimes I cry.

And as I move back to the world of the living with gusto, I am stopped only occasionally in my tracks

By friends who hurt.

By friends who ache.

By friends who cry.

And even by friends who have died.

Two years ago, I could not have imagined friendships like these, but now they are an indelible part of my life.  They remind me how very precious life and love are, and how, when I am feeling most discouraged and unworthy, I still have something to offer.  I have today.  I can raise my children, I can do my research, and I can leave a presence, a legacy, behind, if only I choose to do so.

This pushes me to keep on, through difficulties and through the pain (yes, the @#$% pain is back, as my back ribs will NOT stay in place), and keep making just one more memory for my babies.  Giving them one more hug.  Helping them do “experiments,” and splashing in the kitchen sink.  Doing one more interview for my research.  Writing one more page.  Whatever I can give them to remember me by, and whatever I can give the world of my meager talents.

In realizing that my life may be short, I now have the power to make it count.

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5 Responses to A year after cancer

  1. sprucehillfarm says:

    I feel the same way somedays. Sometimes I take three steps forward and two back. 🙂

  2. lorri steer says:

    Wow. Very timely. I’m looking at a year out of chemo next week and just did a photo essay of hair regrowth on my blog.

    Thanks for sharing your heart!!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this. Heightened empathy opens paths to greater authenticity and deeper love.

    My experience when I went through round after round of treatment while my children were very young was that time seeemd to slow down. I, too, felt as if I was fitting far more living into each and every day.

    The cancer was bad, but the “cancer vision”– the reordered priorities and gratitude for ordinary moments — made my life, in certain ways, better. And now, 18 years and many courses of treatment later, I still feel that way. Ah, life is good, even when it’s not what we planned for or hoped for or expected or wanted. Life is good, even when it is painful or challenging.

    With hope, Wendy

  4. Kathy U says:

    “Whatever I can give them to remember me by, and whatever I can give the world of my meager talents.”

    I do not mean to minimize your experience or in anyway dismiss your feelings but I wanted you to know that your statement above is so very normal. Normal for a mom. Normal for a mom who has experienced cancer and normal for mom’s like me (albeit much older mom) who has not experienced such an awful disease.

    I hope you find comfort in that after all you have been through – your thought here is a mommy thought – a regular mommy thought.

    Kathy U

  5. whymommy says:

    Thanks, Kathy. That’s so good to hear!

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