My son is finally cancer-free! As a mother, I couldn’t be more proud of how strong he stayed strong during this heartbreaking journey. If your child is being diagnosed with cancer, it is important to know there are no right or wrong feelings. Some parents have trouble believing it is happening to them; I was definitely one of them.
Today, I am so proud to speak about my child’s journey, as we have been through some of the toughest hurdles imaginable. Here are 5 things I learned upon my journey being a mom to a child with cancer:
Accepting Everything Is A Rollercoaster
I have never gotten a chance to grieve everything we have been through, one thing after another, since my son was first diagnosed with cancer. For example, a few weeks after his diagnosis, he caught an infection which caused not only permanent eye damage, but the surgical removal of his top lip. A year later, his ability to hear was destroyed completely. We don’t know how he turned deaf; the doctors said it wasn’t because of his chemotherapy. Dealing with three things at once (cancer, lip, deafness) was so hard. In the chaos of it all, everything felt like a dream. Acknowledging and accepting our reality didn’t come until much later in time, and even then, it is still a struggle.
You Must Advocate For Your Child
It is essential that you speak up in hospitals and during appointments, especially if you see a change in your child’s behavior or overall health. No matter what anyone says, make them run those extra tests and dig deeper. As a single mom, I got so used to doing everything myself, constantly feeling exhausted, and changing my occupation to better fit my son’s schedule. I was so overwhelmed juggling between taking him to school, appointments, and therapy. But as a mother, I didn’t care what I had to do to get him to the finish line, even if it meant extra tests and appointments. Trust your gut and do what you need to do.
Support Is Key To Getting Through Hard Times (Especially Sickness)
You will need friends and family that can give you a break from time to time or check in to see if you need anything. I also cannot thank the cancer foundations that helped me and my son get through the financial crisis of cancer enough! Without my loved ones and these foundations comprised of people with kind hearts helping families with bills and other needs, I don’t know how we would have made it through (especially given my constant need to take off work for my son’s medical needs).
Change Is Inevitable
I have learned from this tumultuous journey that you can wake up any day and your life can forever change. But if you keep God in your life through the good and bad times, or whatever it is that gives you a source of hope, trust me, you will be alright. Just have faith!
It Is Important To Keep Your Story Alive
There are plenty of people out there that have gone through this cancer journey or are currently going through it now. My plan for me and my child is to be a voice for others and advocate for cancer victims and survivors. And I will never give up! My son AJ is definitely a living testimony that you can make it through. Some day in the near future we hope to start a cancer foundation website, as well as help people in need secure both financial help and items they need during their hospital stays.
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Katrina Morris of Arkansas. You can follow her son AJ’s journey on Instagram and Facebook, and donate to his surgery GoFundMe here. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more stories from Katrina here:
‘He held up his sign: ‘Cancer is hard. Being black is hard… I want to survive both.’ Just then, a police officer turned back around.’: Police officers touched by childhood cancer fighter
‘His top lip turned black. Half his face was gone, it reminded me of a zombie. ‘I have to remove his lip.’: Miracle boy in remission after battle with leukemia, mouth infection
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