Dealing with cancer and being a parent to a young child

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Re: Dealing with cancer and being a parent to a young child

I've been out of the loop for a while for various reasons, but this has certainly grabbed my attention and roped me back in. I discovered my breast cancer when my son was 2 months old and I was trying to breast feed. Not only that, I had a 15 month old, a 3 year old and a 13 yo -- all active boys!!! They were my driving forces. I simply could not imagine them growing up without me and decided to use every tool in the box to try and fix myself to make sure I am there for them in the future. It was a soul destroying time where I was trying to be super mom and driving myself into the ground trying to be a perfect cancer patient too. I nearly had a break down in the end, and then as if a miracle sent by God, my oncologist suggested a retreat where I could go and nurture my spirit in a quiet place. I'm not sure if Australia has something similar, but I went to a place called the Penny Brohn Cancer Centre. I got to meet a group of other cancer patients and meditated, rested, had healing and psychotherapy sessions. It gave me back the peace I needed in my soul, and the strength to know what was important to me and how I could share that with my children. I decided to write a book, which is now published (!), where I told my children everything about my past, the present and what I wished for the future. I wanted them to know who I was as a person, what made me tick, my likes and dislikes. I thought perhaps if they could see clearly who I am - they would have a stronger sense of their self should I not be there in the future. More than anything I wanted them to know how hard I was/am trying, what a strong woman I am. Maybe when they are faced with something as soul destroying in the future they can draw on my strengths and experiences, and even learn from my failures. God knows I've had my fair share! I never wanted them to feel alone, and through my words I am hoping they will always find me and the comfort they need. I feel myself getting choked up as I write this. It's not a subject I like to think about. All I know is that if it weren't for them, I wouldn't have chosen to be here today. LLx
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Re: Dealing with cancer and being a parent to a young child

I love your idea of writing a book about me for my kids! Thank you so much. I do enjoy writing and yes, it would be tough, but it would be so worthwhile. As you say LL it wouldn't be just about things that I want then to know about growing up but things that they might like to know about me....may strengths, my hopes, my loves especially the depth of love I have for them. very powerful stuff and like you I tear up thinking about things like that. We do have the "retreats" here and I went on one earlier in the year up in the blue mountains and it was just life changing. I would recommend them to anyone who can get there. To be around so many strong courageous women all at different stages of treatment was ...not even sure of the right words..... it was indescribable.To know other women were going thru similar things, to know that no matter how strong and confident they appeared they were still scared inside, to know that we were all going to fight with everything we have...it made such a difference. We did a lot of talking, tai chi,yoga, group therapy, meditating, self awareness and the food and accommodation was perfect. Thinking of you all Sharon xxxxx
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Re: Dealing with cancer and being a parent to a young child

HI all, Thanks for the great idea of a 'all about me journal'. Until now I have been writing letters to my daughter about what to do in certain situations, but have started keeping a journal and have found an addiction to typing out a plethora of cathartic stuff about myself, my childhood etc that I will hopefully be able to pass onto her so that she will know the real me! I have found doing this has helped more than any councilling etc and helped me better understand myself and the whys and wherefors of life. I will certainly look up the retreats after the next round of surgery and treatments - sounds wonderful - wish I could go today! Nicole XOXO
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Re: Dealing with cancer and being a parent to a young child

We all hear you as parents. I was diagnosed 2 days after my daughter's 2nd birthday. She was looked after by grandparents and friends during the day whilst I went for my 6 weeks radiotherapy and then again whilst in hospital for surgery. I did notice a change in her behaviour, sometimes frustrated by my tiredness, my inability to play with her and even comfort her at times. What I have noticed over the past year is my little girl (now 3) is incredibly empathetic for her age. She has watched me progress from a wheel chair to crutches and now with a limp...but she often kisses my leg ( I had a tumour above knee) and strokes it and asks, "Is your leg ok today Mummy?". She doesn't mind so much anymore when I explain that Mummy can't do that because of her leg. She often asks strangers if they are ok when they seem sad and is so loving and sensitive. Sometimes these situations do make our children stronger, more resilient and sensitive little human beings. I too keep a journal for her. I hope to hand it to her when she is an adult and read it together. Let's never give up hope. Best of luck in your journey. x
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Re: Dealing with cancer and being a parent to a young child

Thanks Ruby.
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