Touched by Childhood Cancer… Savor Every Moment With Your Little Ones

My friend’s daughter was diagnosed with cancer last week. She has sarcoma in her spine, and will start chemo next week after her second high risk surgery in less than 2 weeks to remove the tumors.

I’ve been helping taking care of her other two children, since they don’t have family here, while they went through the heart wrenching process of figuring out what was wrong with her. It wasn’t until today that it really sunk in that this is not a temporary illness. She’s really sick and her road to recovery won’t be an easy or guaranteed one.

She’s only nine years old! Just like my twins. Kids shouldn’t have to go through things like this. A nine year old shouldn’t have to worry about whether her treatment will be painful. She shouldn’t have to worry about whether she’ll be alive for her 10th birthday. She shouldn’t be scared because she knows she has cancer, and cancer kills a lot of people.

Life is fragile and unfortunately can change in an instant. Don’t take any minute with your children for granted! Yes, they drive us crazy at time; yes, we feel like failures on a daily basis; yes, sometimes we wish we didn’t have the tremendous responsibility that is raising little humans; yes, we feel like a broken record sometimes; yes, we wish we had more time for ourselves … yes, yes, yes… all that and more is true.

But believe me! We are lucky! Those of us raising healthy little ones are incredibly blessed. We sometimes forget it, but it’s worth remembering. We don’t have to worry about whether we will see our child will grow up. We don’t have to worry about caring for a sick child while still showing love and attention to our other children. We don’t have to see our child suffer as she holds on to life. We don’t have to worry about whether the new treatment will save our child’s life. We don’t have to worry about keeping our child’s spirit up when she wants to give up. We don’t have to worry about whether we can afford the medical treatment our child needs. We don’t have to worry about all these life altering things.

We worry about much, much simpler stuff, such as whether the homework is done, whether she’s eaten her veggies, whether she’s learned how to read, whether she’s brushed her teeth, whether she’s in bed on time… We worry about stuff we shouldn’t really worry about.

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We shouldn’t let the little daily life events get on our nerves and prevent us from enjoying our children. We should enjoy them as they are, enjoy the messiness of childhood, enjoy the inevitable occasional chaos of parenthood, enjoy the little hugs and kisses, enjoy the loud and constant background noise that surrounds us, enjoy the daily lessons we learn, enjoy the ups and downs. Just enjoy life with our kids!

Take every opportunity to tell them how amazing they are, how much they lighten up your life. Take every chance you get to hug them, kiss them, cuddle with them, listen to their stories, read with and to them, play with them… BE with them, fully present and conscious.

Because life is fragile and precious, and we should never take it for granted!

Much love, Diana-

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