Did you guys know that this month, September, is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month?
But now I do. And after reading this article...I think I'll start wearing gold for the remainder of the month.
I can't imagine being forced to watch my beloved babies battle this monster.
I know I'd be strong and fight and fight and fight for them. But I also know that if I lost even one of my babies my life wouldn't be worth living.
My babies are the most precious thing in my life.
Nothing makes me happier. Nothing makes me sadder.
I've been so very blessed to have the healthiest of children.
M was prone to ear infections and strep as a youngster but as he's gotten older he's very rarely gotten sick. A fever here and there. A cold or some sniffles. Nothing major. Nothing scary.
G has only ever had one ear infection and a couple days with a mysterious fever. Other than that...his three years of life have been incredibly healthy. Maybe because I breastfed him. (Lactivist typing here. You've been forwarned.)
But as healthy as they are, I seriously live in fear of discovering something insidious lurking inside their perfect selves.
Every bruise I can't remember them falling and getting scares me. Mosquito bites on G's leg worry me endlessly. M is playing football now and everytime he gets in the car after practice with an ice bag Saran Wrapped to his body in some place, the little anxiety monster in my brain starts worrying.
I know it's not healthy. I manage it better than I make it seem.
I keep a lot of the worry to myself because I know it's irrational. But what if?
What if one day G's white blood cell count isn't good? What if one day M's complaints about leg pain aren't the growing pains we think they are?
I've never been through anything like childhood cancer. I have no idea how I would even cope with facing this if forced to.
How does one face that?
Do you open yourself up and become an open book for your child? Sharing every moment of their life ans yours, as much as you can so that if the worst happens you know you understood them and they understood you? Or do you keep the brave face and tell them it's going to be OK? Do you lie to them when they are little and can't understand? Or do you tell them the truth and try to explain what is happening? How do you manage? How do you cope? How do you not sit in a corner with your precious baby in your lap and cry? How do you live everyday knowing how this all could end?
These are the thoughts that scare me. Because I know how I would want to be.
But I never want to have to BE.
No parent should ever have to be....
I have two charities that are incredibly close to my heart.
St. Judes is one of them. They do such marvelous and good work there. They care for children in a pure, loving way. Researching, treating and caring. If you're the donating kind...you can donate here.
Because it is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. Spread the word. Tell a friend. Wear some gold. I know I will.
And please...share with me. How have you dealt? Have you been through this? Are you like me and actively fear it? You can find me on Facebook here and follow me on Twitter @InANutShelley. You can also find me on Instagram as @InANutShelley. And you can always leave me a comment.
Can't wait to hear from you.