My kids are the best medicine

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Dealing with cancer is difficult. But when you have cancer and young children, it is very difficult.

Since my diagnosis, I have made an effort not to talk about my cancer, appointments or treatments in front of my children. I want their lives to stay as normal as possible and I think it has. Sure there have been changes but more or less their lives haven’t changed.

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Every parent thinks their children are the best. I’m no different. My kids are amazing and special but to me they are the best medicine I could have ever asked for. I have come to learn that no amount of medicine makes me feel as good as a hug or cuddle from my kids. They are truly the best medicine for me throughout this whole process. Especially those first few days after chemo when I couldn’t parent. When Princess Peach would check on me first thing in the morning no matter how shitty I felt I tried to be as much as myself as possible. I do it for them but in turn it helps me.

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 I owe so much of my recovery to them. I truly believe that if I didn’t have them in my life I’m not sure how I would be dealing with all of this.

When I was in the grey zone between discovering I had a tumor in my breast (not knowing at the time it was cancerous) and getting diagnosed was a very bad time for me. I spent days in the basement in the dark thinking I was dying. Dr. Google didn’t help either. Everything I would Google, would confirm my worst fears that I was dying. I would watch time pass on the clock without doing anything. Just sitting and thinking the most horrible thoughts. It was an awful time.

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By the time I got diagnosed I decided I was going to focus on being positive. If not for me, for my kids. They are the reason I do everything I do. Ultimately I had a choice. I could choose to be depressed about my situation but that wouldn’t be good for anyone. Instead I would choose to stay positive and happy (yes, you can have cancer and be happy!). Part of being positive was shifting my goals and priorities. It was very hard and I knew I wouldn’t be able to be the mom I was prior to diagnosis.  The Hubster would have to take over the brunt of parenting while I was undergoing treatments. But I needed to be present. I wanted to be present. My kids need me and I need them. So as much as possible I am present. The first few days after chemo it was usually just a snuggle in bed. Then once I was feeling stronger I would join them for breakfast and dinner. Then as the days went on life would be back to normal.

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This summer The Hubster did a lot of fun things with the kids without me. As much as I had major FOMO and it made me sad I wasn’t there with them, I knew I had to focus on them. Focus on the memories they were making and the experiences they were having. Hopefully the summer of 2016 will be spent making a million incredible new memories! By them being away I was also given an opportunity to rest and relax more than usual. Then by the time they were home, I felt more like myself and spending time with them was awesome! Then they would come home, give me a hug and a kiss and my heart melted into a puddle and all I worried about was that moment.

But my kids also made me do things that I would have not done before. This summer, with no hair and at my heaviest weight I went swimming with my kids in a pool. Part of me wanted to hide but ultimately I said “fuck it” and put on that bathing suit, swimming cap and went in my with family. Guess what? We had a great time! I wasn’t concerned with how I looked or felt. For once, I enjoyed being in a pool and splashing around with my kids.

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After my mastectomy, when I was worried about how snuggling with my kids would feel, but they didn’t notice. Little Dude just adjusted where he put his head. They instinctively knew to be gentle and calm around me while I was recovering. They understood my physical limitations and worked with me to make life easier. Princess Peach would cuddle with me and we would colour or watch a show on Netflix. Again, my kids proved to be my best medicine.

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There aren’t enough cuddles, kisses or hugs in the world to thank them for what they have done. How they helped me through the roughest most difficult days and months in my life. How my experience with cancer was different because of them. How I initially made a choice  to be positive for them but it helped me too. For that I will be forever grateful.

Comments

  1. greenmomsco says:

    Thank you for opening your heart. I’m crying. You are so right that kids cuddles are so healing. xo

  2. mom2michael says:

    What a beautiful post. The love of our children is incredible medicine indeed. And they are excellent motivation to keep fighting.

  3. Jovana says:

    I love this Renee!

  4. Shanley says:

    I admire your strength. Your children are lucky to have you.

  5. Marlene says:

    Your post came at a very important time in my life. I just got diagnosed with breast cancer and constantly in fear of dying and leaving behind my beautiful 4 children and hubby. My kids range from 1-10 and I wanted to know what you told your kids about your cancer?

  6. Jules Ruud says:

    What a beautiful post. I admire your strength and I admire you for talking about your journey. Your kids are so blessed to have such a wonderful mom.

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