Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Look ahead

My friend Elise posted a link to Gord Downie's recent interview with Wendy Mesley about the Hip's latest album. Downie's wife has also been battling breast cancer.

Elise posted it with one simple question: "How's George doing?"

Thanks again, Elise for sharing Gordie's interview with me. This post is dedicated to all the partners out there, who have a loved one who is going through or who has been through cancer treatments. Sending much love and wishing peace to you all. May you find your ability to look ahead.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Parenting through kancer

This post has been brewing for a long time. I haven't written it out of fear. Fear of admitting that I'm less than perfect. Fear of criticism.

Parenting at the best of times is challenging. But parenting with cancer? It's shit.

If you think I'm fishing to be told how wonderful I am, I'm most definitely not. I'm hoping that by putting these words down, I can try to get the bad feelings out of my system and let them go.

I have met women who share how much of a bonding experience cancer was for their family. Everyone together as a unit, ready to fight the evil cancer. My reality is I feel like cancer is trying its best to tear my family apart.

These days, more often than not, I feel like I'm doing a terrible job.

Though I'm physically strong given what my body has been through the past several months, emotionally, I'm all over the place.

Like most 5 year olds, mine likes to test the boundaries. He started kindergarten and has had some challenging days that have resulted in his being sent to the office.

I'm doing all the things I've been told are the right things. I've talked to the teacher, to the counsellors, and to the principal. We've been to the cancer agency's children's group. We've tried to keep some semblance of structure at home.

But sometimes, I feel all this effort doesn't mean a damn. And I'm at a point where I'm tired of everything: a never-ending roster of appointments, trying different types of counselling, being told that everything we're experiencing is "normal".

I have become a more patient person in many ways - stopping to collect chestnuts on the way to school instead of trying to make it there in record time to prepare for my return to work, for instance - but I still have not-so-stellar moments. I yell when a hug is needed. I cry when I it's time to buck up. I stress when I should let go.

Trying so hard to make everything better is, well, trying.

I have this little person who depends on me for so much. My biggest fear of all is that while I'm fighting to get myself better, I am letting him down.