I haven't stopped thinking about a friend of mine since I last saw her the other day. A cancer mum too. A beautiful lady with a beautiful boy whom also is in remission. When she spoke with us her eyes were red and I knew she was working hard to keep it together for our benefit. Selfless beautiful woman. It reminded me as to what lengths us cancer mums must go in order to function within the normal society in which we live. Deep inside we are hurting like hell, yet outside our world we live in just ticks along, taking us with it even though all we want to do is stop, crawl up in a ball and cry. It reminded me how hard it is to put on that brave face for the sake of others and to be that normal mum everyone expects us to be and is most 'comfortable' around. Very few people are ok in the company of someone crying. And very few would understand as to why.
So instead we talk about the weather, laugh at people's jokes, discuss anything and everything that's not childhood cancer related for the sake of keeping it together and fitting in. For a real conversation that is related to our lives stirs up so many emotions its almost impossible to contain and requires an enormous amount of energy to remain composed. and no amount of talk could possibly make someone understand.
What's even more ridiculous is I often avoid those conversations because I don't want the people I'm with to feel uncomfortable. I don't want to ruin their evening????? So instead I sit and try to join in while inside I'm struggling beyond belief. I know I feel completely different to them as they talk with ease about the trivial stuff that's going on in their lives. I nod and try to understand the importance of it all but Inside I'm struggling. I'm aware that to others their issues are important to them and I'm aware that they couldn't possibly understand otherwise at that point in their lives. I'm not bagging them by any means. I've got to a point of understanding rather than frustration which I once felt. However it doesn't change the hurt I feel and the struggle I go through in order to function in these settings. Hence I avoid social gatherings as much as humanly possible.
I watched my friend walk away from us that day after saying good bye and that memory stayed with me. It was as if time stood still as she walked, her son by her side. I felt like crying for her, for this whole situation and the life we now live. The uncertainty of our sons futures, the fear and sadness that goes with that. I was so sorry for her. For us both. For every mother that travels this journey.
Of course I try to remain positive but some days are so very hard to do that and I knew she was having one of those days. I so wanted to wave a wand and point it at her and her son and take away all the pain felt by her by wishing him cured for ever. I felt her pain. A helpless feeling of not being able to change it. Take it away.
What we do do as cancer mums is try to make the most of every precious day we are blessed with, with our kids. We no longer sweat the small stuff or take life for granted. We are forever changed living within a world that although does not change with us, we learn to manage to live in, as best we can. There is no going back to the life we once had, which is so hard to accept, but we do. Although we wish everyday that life were different, we live that day as best we can.
For life goes on around us no matter how much we hurt and no matter how much we wish it were different......
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