I usually just say thanks and state "we're not doing anything any other parent wouldn't do in our situation." I'm not one to graciously accept compliments.
For the most part, sure, we're handling things the best we know how.
Cancer or not, we always try our best to live our lives with a optimistic outlook. We don't believe on dwelling on the past or what may or may not have been. Another popular saying in our house is "what does crying get you? Livi responds without missing a beat "nothing." Though it can be hard at times, we always try to look at the positive of every situation. You give us a fork in the road and we're pulling up gps for new directions. There's always something to be thankful for in the good and the bad. That's just the way we try our hardest to live our lives.
The truth is though, we don't have a choice but to be strong.
As parents, we have to be the rock for Livi. She looks to us for cues on how to handle her diagnoses and what's going on in our lives currently. We can't sit in the corner and cry every time she gets poked.....though no matter how much time passes, it never gets any easier to watch them poke a 3 & 1/4 inch gauge needle in your child's chest. Every week, I literally hold my breathe till the nurse says "got it!"
I've learned it's one thing to know someone with cancer or to even have a family member with cancer....it's completely another thing to have cancer living in your home and staring you in the face day after day. You can't truly understand cancer until you've been there watching the nurse come in week after week, decked out with hazmat suits and yellow toxic bags and to watch as they literally pour poison into your/your child/your loved ones iv. To know you're going to have to watch them get worse before they can feel like themselves again......only to know you have to repeat this process the next week.
It's a draining process.
Thirteen years ago, my grandmother took care of my uncle as he lost his life to cancer. For years, I knew he was sick, but I never truly got it. I never realized what was really going on. These days, there are often times my grandmother and I will catch each others eye and both tear up....she knows the pain that's there. It's a road I'm sure she never imagined one of her grandchildren having to walk down as a parent, especially at this early in the game.
Thankfully, Livi got to finish her last round on time and we got to enjoy a full two week break in between chemo treatments. That two weeks is up already and in two days, we start the process again to hopefully get started with the next round on Friday.
This is when the fear creeps in.
Just a few weeks ago, I started to notice that there seems to be a cycle with each new round and new set of drugs. Going into each round, we don't know how she's going to react to each new chemo she gets. With chemo, there seems to be no middle ground....it's either ugly or it doesn't seem to phase her at all. After we get a couple of treatments under our belt and we know what to expect, it seems we relax and our confidence seems to soar again.
It's easier then to say "we've got this."
I'll be honest, this next round is freaking me out and no matter how it may be portrayed on line....I'm scared as heck to watch her go through this next round. I so badly want it to be over, but scared to move forward.
Round four is a handful and a half of new chemo and those dreaded steroids again. It's chemo shots that have to be administered at home and day long treatments where her kidneys have to be flushed in ordered to be saved from the chemo.
And so there fear is here again and I hold my breathe till Christmas.
Hoping and praying that fear is gone by then.
That I can look her in the eye and without a single doubt say again "we've got this."