FEAR

When you learn that your daughter has been diagnosed with cancer,  you learn what it really means to FEAR something.  Almost a year after Scarlett was diagnosed, I would be lying if I told you that I am still not afraid.  It’s an emotion that I keep tucked away inside of me but it rears it’s ugly head a few times a day.  It tries to throw me off balance.  It tries to confuse me in the hope that I will forget which path to follow.  I quickly remind myself that Scarlett is doing really great.  She is happy and strong and continues to work through her chemotherapy treatments with grace. Fear may trip me up but it is not strong enough to stop me from continuing down the path that will lead Scarlett to a cure.  Every day is a battle.  But every day that I have with Scarlett is a special day.  Every day I pray and I beg that she will continue to get stronger and we will continue to see better days.  Because we ARE seeing better days ~ but sometimes, I am still afraid.
I came across an article earlier this week and I have shared the link below.   It is a very harsh reminder of what cancer can take away from you.  This article hit me hard.  All of the sudden, I realized that all of the fears that I suppress on a daily basis were suddenly right in front of me in this Huffington Post Article.  As I read the article, I cried.  I cried a lot.  Cancer is a scary thing.  I want a guarantee and there are no guarantees.  After I composed myself, I then reminded myself that Scarlett is winning this battle.  She will be one of the lucky ones.  Cancer is not going to take her away from me.  If Scarlett had one wish, it would be that there was a cure for cancer.  We hope that one day, we won’t have to imagine a world without cancer – we will actually live in one.

A few weeks ago Scarlett and I were walking home after a long day of treatment at MSK.  To distract her from the unpleasant things she had been through that day, I proposed that we list the good things that cancer had brought us.  I can’t change that my daughter was diagnosed with cancer but I can try my best to influence how we deal with it every day.   After tossing around what I had read in the Huff Post article all week, I realized that for my own sanity, I needed to deal with the abundance of emotions I was feeling.  I decided to ask Scarlett if she remembered the conversation we had had on our walk home from MSK a few weeks ago.  I asked her if she would remind me of her list of the good things cancer has brought us.  She happily rattled off her list.
Here it is:
1. Meeting Jessica (one of the amazing child life specialists at MSK – a true bright light that greets us on every visit)
2. Not complaining when things aren’t what I wanted – for example, if you gave me pancakes when I really wanted waffles, I might have complained before but now I would just eat them
3. Having short hair is kind of nice!!!!
4. Spending a lot more time with Mommy
5.  Making new friends at the hospital who also have cancer
6. Learning about Harry Potter
7. Thinking about the new puppy, hamster, bunny, chickens and fish that Daddy promised to get for me when I am through with cancer
Scarlett has taught me that although cancer is truly horrible ~ even something horrible can give you things that are worth keeping.  I love this little girl. She is a gift that keeps on giving.  I think Paula Rinehart sums it up nicely, “Life, even in the hardest times, is full of moments to savor.”