Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Get over it!

There is a phenomenon that has happened to me, and I know it has happened to others, that occurs when your child is near the end or done with treatment. I'm sure that there is a technical name for it that someone far wiser than I would know, but I guess for now we can call it the "better blues". It happened to me periodically throughout Sarah's treatment, towards the end back in November before we realized that she had contracted the secondary cancer, and again after transplant. It is a period of slight depression where you deal with all sorts of morose and morbid feelings when according to others you should be ecstatic because your kid is better. And you are, for the most part. But it's a feeling that creeps in from the edges, then overwhelms you without you even noticing. It's like all of the emotions we couldn't or didn't have time to feel while we were helping them fight come rushing to the surface all at once. What everyone needs to understand is that this release of emotions is NORMAL, and that we have EVERY RIGHT to feel it, for as long as we need to. We've fucking EARNED our right to a bad day for everything we've been through with our kids! 

So, I don't now and will never understand people who either blatantly or inadvertently tell us to "get over it", as though it were as simple as all that. Just "get over it", like a parking ticket or a bad day at the office, or all of the other mundane, frivolous, stupid shit they complain about on facebook on a daily basis. I'm supposed to "get over" the constant pain and suffering of my CHILD? The fact that this child is fighting for his/her life when he/she shouldn't even know what death is? Yes, we are over the moon that they're better. Of course, we are! As bad as you imagined it was for us, we wish it was that easy! But once things calm down, and we have a minute to breathe, all of the feelings that we couldn't/wouldn't/didn't have time to deal with all come rushing in at once, and we deal with it the best way we know how. 

We get sad, we get pissed off, one of my beloved Cancer Moms said it best: Cancer makes us want to curse and hit things. And I honestly believe, in thinking it over for a hot second, that one of the main reasons that people want us to "get over it" is because it makes it easier for THEM. I wrote a blog awhile back on this very subject. I was feeling blue, having a hard time, and I was not blogging because I was afraid of upsetting everyone, of making them uncomfortable, because no one talks about this. They talk about how sad cancer is, about how no one should have to go through it, and they talk about the success stories, or not. But no one talks about what this process is like, for a child especially, or the mother of that child. You spend all day long feeling worthless. That's it, in a nutshell. Your sole job as a mother is to care for and protect your baby. That's pretty much it, that's what it all boils down to, and everything else is just a means to that end. So you fight within yourself all day long as you allow strangers to poke and prod and hurt your child on purpose in order to save him/her, and sometimes, if things are getting out of hand, you HELP THEM HOLD THE KID DOWN! You help them shove things down her throat, up his nose, etc. You do all of it in spite of every instinct you have as a mother that tells you to do the opposite, and there's nothing you can do about it. You can't stop it. You can't make it better. You can't protect them from this. They have no choice, and neither do you. And neither do the White Coats, which is why you're letting them do it. So you feel worthless and small that the most important job you will ever have, you cannot do. Which is a fallacy, really, because you are doing it, just differently, but it feels that way, like a constant failure.

So people who tell us to "get over it" need to understand one thing: We will NEVER get over it! We will NEVER get over our children going through the pain and suffering they have gone through! We have gone through it with them, some of us more than once, and it has become a part of who we are. You can't "get over" who you are anymore than they can "get over" being assholes for letting stupid shit like that come out of their mouths. I swear, is there no intelligent life left on this planet?. They can never and will never understand, and thank God for that!  

I'm sorry if the subject makes people uncomfortable, but that says more about their weakness than ours. They don't know how to handle it, because they're just not strong enough, (they haven't had to be, like we have) so they tell us to "get over it" because it makes it easier for them, less uncomfortable. Fine. But why shouldn't we get to talk about we have been through? We SHOULD talk about it, and ALL of the feelings that it brings up, especially the negative ones. If no one was talking about it, then I should be the first, because I know it's not just me that feels this way, and even if it is, then it is all part of the process, part of MY journey, and I owe it to myself and my daughter to write it ALL down. We should not only talk about it, we should wear it like a badge of honor. We have earned it.

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