Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rambling on about changes

I have just read a super inspiring post by a dear friend whom I have never met in person, but is very close to my heart. Mimi Avery is a cancer mom - there, I said it! Unfortunately, this is a bond that many mothers share and I am also a cancer mom, albeit one of the "luckier" ones. She wrote a beautiful post about how difficult it is to reconnect to old friends after cancer - in her case, she is the mother to angel Julian.
While we were looking for psychological help for our son João after his medical treatment was over, we were concerned in finding a professional that could relate to his situation and we found a good person who attempted to guide him back into to the "normal" world. You see, my son has been "cured" and shows very few outward signs of the ordeal he went through. Something that most people think should make us joyful and ready to put the whole disease behind us - it is not that easy, you cannot really just pick up and move on after cancer. As Mimi says, some people do not realize that you can't go back to the "old" you, your life has been changed, you have suffered losses and experienced a lot more than most. My son wanted his "old" life back, life before cancer, but has found that many of his friends have become distant or are a little afraid of associating with him. The girls are "sorry" for him and that's it - he told me that when he goes to a party he ends up talking to the older people there, the birthday person's mother or grandmother and doesn't really have a chance to get in "on the action"! And this is a healthy fifteen year old who is good looking, articulate, smart, friendly, affectionate and apparently no serious hangups - His therapist gave him carte blanche and said he was able to deal with his issues and I think he is too, but I observe the difficulties he has in fitting in. He often wants to cling to us and spend more time with us than with his peers. One of the things I told him while he was having therapy was that I felt that he shouldn't be yearning so much for his "old/normal" life and that he should try to find a way to go forward without wanting to go back. I also wish that we never had had to go through this and pick up our "old" life, however, it is very clear to me that this is not to be - cancer is part of our life fabric now for better and for worse. This is the link to Mimi's enlightened post:

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