After a parent has survived cancer

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Jane

Hey everyone!

So I know I’m one of the lucky ones cause my mum survived cervical cancer 4 years ago but I miss who she was before the cancer. Since cancer she’s hasn’t been herself, the cancer caused her to go into early menopause, and she’s since been diagnosed with Graves’ disease and recently she has been fighting off viral infection after viral infection. It’s scary because when I see her lying in bed unwell my brain takes me back to when she had cancer, to when I thought she was going to die. And this causes me a lot of anxiety... I wonder if this happens to anyone else?

I have memories of mum doing cartwheels with my sister and I in the garden, jumping waves with us at the beach, horse ridding, I used to take all of these thing for granted. And I know how lucky I am to still have her around but I wish I could have pre cancer mum back. And at the same time I feel guilty for wishing it.

Back when mum was first diagnosed with cancer my sister came up with a metaphor for our situation, we were all embarking on a really scary train ride in a dark tunnel and at the end of the tunnel was a beautiful light, a place where we could be happier and stronger than ever. The problem is it feels like with been in the tunnel for four years and we still aren’t any closer to the end, mums cancer might be gone but she’s still not healthy. And times like these I wonder if she ever will be again...

UPDATE

mum had a biopsy the other week, to see if her cancers back. The doctors said it was just to be on the safe side but it doesn’t make waiting any less scary. I dunno why but when I found out we had to wait two weeks for the biopsy I felt like the world should go on pause for two weeks. Then I remember that’s not how it works. The world keeps spinning regardless of how out of control it all feels. No preexisting issues go away to make room for the new ones, and the hard part is making sure they don’t all take over. It’s realising what is and what isn’t in your control and putting what isn’t to aside to deal with what is. That’s probably the biggest lesson I’ve learnt from my mums whole cancer journey, accepting that I can’t control everything and just spending time on what I can.