what no one tells you about life with cancer

When Cancer Shows Up

Like a thief, it shows up. Like an unwanted guest, it never leaves.

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I thought everything – the worries, denial and questions – would be left in the cold, stiff room where "cancer" was first spoken. Every muddy thought, nauseous feeling and label remained, even outside the doors.

I thought that at the acknowledgment of cancer, it would dwell in the air and stay there, until it claimed another victim. These thoughts, as magical as they seem, rest in the minds of victims. As it goes, you live and you learn. It never ends.

My mother was the victim, but the cancer outstretched its arms to touch the entire home.

After the diagnosis, a tornado of confusions and fear arrived and ripped away the pride my family once held. We twisted around emotions of fear, we yelled and we had deep conversations because everything we had was taken away.

We were lost. We were trying to find a way forward.

Cancer was just a possibility at first, then it turned into real life. It pushed into our lives, disrupting my family's plan for the future.

Before the storm struck, our lives had just began to look like everything was falling into place. My parents had a new grandchild on the way. I was graduating high school. Everything looked good from the outside, but on the inside, we were forgetting how to breathe.

The cancer invited itself into the doors of our house and made itself at home.

No one knew when it would leave- or if it even would.

Honestly, I don't know when it happened. One day, my mom and I were stressing about prom. The next, our dinner table fell silent, along with tears.

No one told me that there is no calm before the storm. It just happens, and life turns upside down. We could just watch- my family and I.

We didn't know when to move. All we could do was wonder what the next step would be.

Thursdays turned into chemo day. Once a week, four times a month, I walked into the cancer center with my mom. It was usually mornings, and the waiting room was always cold. I guess it had to be that way, considering the sickness that danced through the air- though none was contagious, all severe.

But no one told me that inside that room, almost everyone looks fine, despite their tiring, never-ending war. But they all share the same pale skin and worried eyes. To everyone else, it probably isn't noticeable.

No one told me that cancer is real, that the costs are high or that the journey is never over.

No one told me that life will never be the same.

But now I know.

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These Are 4 Proven Ways That Vaccines Cause Autism

Stock up on those essential oils.

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Let's just start with the first (and main) point.

1. They don't.

Susan in your anti-vax group is not a scholarly source (despite her hours and hours of Google research).

2. But in case you still believe Susan...

Maybe you'll believe Autism Speaks who says, "Scientists have conducted extensive research over the last two decades to determine whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research is clear: Vaccines do not cause autism."

3. And if Autism Speaks still didn't convince you...

Feel free to take a look at this comprehensive list of studies that all say that there is no relationship between vaccines such as the MMR vaccination and the development of autism.

4. But here's what you should know...

There have been a few studies lately that have shown that autism develops in utero aka before a baby is even born AND before a baby can even receive vaccinations.

Vaccinations have prevented COUNTLESS deaths and illnesses. Vaccination rates are continuing to fall and do you know what that means? Measles will make its way back. Whooping cough will come back. Rubella, mumps, and polio will come back and there will be no way to stop it.

So, now that you know that vaccines do not cause autism, you're welcome to go tell Susan from your anti-vax group that as well as tell her that the Earth isn't flat. But, don't forget to mention it to her that her essential oils and organic foods are not keeping her children safe from the measles or tuberculosis.

Vaccinate your children. And, besides, even IF vaccinations caused autism, wouldn't you rather have a child with a developmental disorder rather than a child who died from the measles?

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Working On My Emotional Health Is At The Top Of My To-Do List

I'm finally realizing the importance of my mental and emotional health.

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The month of April has been so eye-opening for me. For the first bit of the year, I felt like I was in a slump; like I was just going through the motions and not fully living my life.

I was letting boy drama, school stress, and my poor actions to deal with those issues take over my life. I was allowing the anger and shame from those mistakes bubble up inside me until I was just about ready to explode.

I was allowing myself to go back to old ways of coping with problems that I knew weren't healthy, but I knew would be a short-term fix.

I simply wasn't living.

Then, one day I woke up and told myself I needed to change, and that if I didn't, I'd be on this same path ten years from now... or worse. I told myself I needed to get my life back on track with the Lord and with who I want to be as a rising senior in college.

After meeting with one of the leaders at my church (btw, everyone needs a Mrs. Jenny in their life!) and with my therapist, I'm starting to realize how important my emotional health is. My way of dealing with problems hasn't been working all that well, so I know it's time to try something else.

It's all going to be a huge learning process (and at times, an uphill battle), but I know working on my emotional health now will build me to be the best I can in the future.

By learning to become more open to healthier ways of dealing with issues as they come up (like not avoiding problems and actually facing them head-on), I know I can become my best self, and that is something I'm willing to work on with my whole heart.

So, I'm learning to let go of needing to control everything in my life because honestly, wanting to control everything puts me more out of control than when I first started.

And, I encourage you to do the same.

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