A friend of mine recently told me that she had read a post made by a Facebook friend, regarding her news feed. On it she complained about the people who post things about childhood cancer and how she wished that they would keep it to themselves as she doesn't want to know about it.
Naturally I initially was furious with her ignorance as was my friend (also a cancer mum) and my first reaction was to post something in reply. However acting on emotions would only fuel her complaint and that's just not clever or brave. So neither of us posted anything.
I thought about it all night and woke up with it still on my mind.
Trying to understand why someone could feel that way and how sad I felt about that . Sad for the many children fighting this disease and extremely sad that anyone could not care. I understand however that Many people don't wAnt to know about the atrocities in this world as it then Unfolds their lives as not as perfect as they would like them to be. It's better to know everything is "tickety boo" and feel good about the day than to know someone is suffering. Especially a child.
Now that I have thought about it long and hard the message I would write to her would be quite different from my initial reaction. If I did post something to her it would go a little like this:
Dear Facebook User,
My name is leisl Stone and in march 2012 my youngest son, then 1, was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour.
Before my son was diagnosed I knew nothing of childhood cancer. I knew it happened but I was ignorant and naive enough to believe it happened to " other" people, not me. I'm not sure who I thought "other" people were but I soon found out it could be anyone of us. Cancer isn't discriminate it can touch anyone and as I found out, my innocent baby.
When my son was diagnosed the pain I felt was like no other. The sadness, the fear, the anxiety was like nothing I had ever known or would want to know. A pain so great you would not wish it on your worst enemy. A pain that made me feel as if I was being ripped from the inside, out.
For the next eight months I watched and allowed my baby to go through the most horrific treatment and procedures no parent should witness ever, in order to save his life. Tear after tear, scream after scream, cry for it to stop, over and over again... Still rings in my ears today.
When he was diagnosed I wished I had of known more about childhood cancer, I wished I had of done more, noticed more, made myself aware. I wished I had of raised awareness to others, stood on every corner asking for funds for research. Because if I had of and every person I knew, then maybe, just maybe they may have been closer to a cure for my son. But I didn't, I remained ignorant until that day, and it is NOT the way to learn this lesson.
Now I want to raise that awareness to others because I don't want anyone to ever feel the pain I feel everyday. I don't want any child and parent to go through what I do. So if posting information about childhood cancer makes it possible for someone to detect cancer in their child early, which could potentially save their life, then great! And if raising awareness means people help fund childhood cancer research then double great!
Please Facebook user I beg you to open your eyes, see what's around you and be aware. I'm not asking you to read every post or watch every video but know that it's very real. And Join in helping raise awareness and funds don't hide away from it. if childhood cancer does ever touch your life, and I so hope it never does, you will be so glad you did do something....trust me on that.
I won't post this on her Facebook because sadly I doubt she would read it but it's what I would send if I thought she would.
Instead I post it hear on a forum where I can express my feelings and know that they are heard by people who want to listen, who do open their eyes and hearts and I commend you for that. You are the brave ones. The people that don't shy away from the atrocities in this world but rather face them head on and make themselves aware. I have no doubt you read other stories like mine and support organisations that are helping to change childhood cancer for the future. I want you to know how glad I am that there are people like you all in this world.
Thank goodness for you. Xxx