Here's To A Boring Year

Too much excitement just might kill me!

What place me?

It’s human nature that most of us don’t get truly passionate about a cause until it affects us personally. I think this is a protection mechanism – there are so many awful things that happen in our world, if we tried to care about all of them our heads would explode.

I found a blog written by the mother of the little boy who we just found out is NED. And I can’t stop reading it. His treatment spanned 17 months, and included not only surgery, chemotherapy, radiation treatments and immunotherapy, but various side effects including an anaphylactic reaction to one of his chemo drugs, a morphine overdose, liver disease, a bowel obstruction caused by the scar tissue from his tumor resection, and a circumcision necessitated by repeated catheterization. His odds of relapse are 50-60%, and there is no treatment if he does. In fact the ward told them they have never successfully treated stage 4 neuroblastoma – they have no long term (10+ years) survivors (thank CHOCOLATE Monkey is not in this category!). And that’s only what I’ve read so far.

Hubs asked why I read these blogs, when they’re so depressing. And I realized it’s because I feel like I owe it to them to know. It is important to me that other people know what happened to Monkey, so when someone else puts their story out there I believe it is because they want it shared. Just knowing that somewhere some anonymous person is being touched by our stories helps to give it meaning.

Naturally since Monkey’s diagnosis, I have become very passionate about childhood cancer, and particularly about neuroblastoma. I want to help. I want to support families who are suffering through this. I want to give the children comfort. I want to find a cure.

But I don’t know how I can contribute.

I feel somewhat under qualified, like I haven’t really earned the title of Cancer Mum. Yes, my baby had cancer. But his chances of making a full recovery are/always were very high, and his treatment was mild, over and done in the blink of an eye. Any support I could offer to other families seems insincere – I have not gone through what they have to deal with. What right to I have to pretend that we share that experience?

I’m very smart, but I’m trained as a software engineer not a medical researcher. And reskilling takes serious time, especially when you have young children.

At the end of the day, I’m a SAHM with a toddler, and plans for a baby sometime (hopefully) soon. It isn’t like I have spare time in any case.

But I need to do something. I need to join the fight.

I just can’t seem to find my place.


5 comments on “What place me?

  1. Mina
    July 27, 2013

    This is not the pain olympics all over again, dear. There are no awards for Cancer Mum, and this title is not what one qualifies for. Your child is a cancer survivor. As long as that bitch cancer touched you, your child, your family, your child’s future – you are sadly a cancer Mum. I too feel like I owe them to read their stories, be it infertility, cancer, divorce, break up, even if they are heartbreaking stories that do not brighten my day, if I get to a blog that deals with hardship, and I make a connection, I read, and try to comment when I feel that my words could help, and I try to keep their stories alive. Because stories are meant to keep the spirit alive, and even if they do not know it, their spirit knows it. (I swear I am not usually this spiritual wooshy-mooshy, new age reincarnated hippy…).
    I may need a certain state of mind to read them, but yes, I do too, to the bewilderement of my husband, who does not understand my appeal for sad stories.

    • boringyear
      July 27, 2013

      You are right of course, and I don’t by any means consider it a competition. But I do wonder if by trying to support other families I may just serve as an uncomfortable reminder about just how bad their situation is?

  2. Fighting For my Sunshine
    July 27, 2013

    I understand your feelings… My son was born at 24 weeks. I feel the need to support other families, however BJ has done remarkably well… No major surgeries, he caught up fairly quickly also. So I’m not sure how that would make the families with sever complications due to prematurity feel.

    • boringyear
      July 27, 2013

      Yes that’s exactly it. Let me know if you find an answer!

  3. glumbunny
    July 27, 2013

    I was thinking of some of these other parallels in the infertility domain as well… it’s a whole big human conundrum! I think it would be fair to take some time to figure out what joining the fight looks like…I have no doubt you will find your place.

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This entry was posted on July 27, 2013 by in brain fry, cancer.
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