When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,
and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

~ Kahlil Gibran, from"The Prophet"

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Matter of Perspective

On this rainy (AGAIN!) morning, I was thinking back over the past 3 1/2 years, beginning with Erin's diagnosis and progressing through today, amazed to see how my thought patterns and hopes changed during that time-span. I guess it's all a matter of perspective, with adjustment of goals reflective of the situation at hand.

In the beginning I desperately hoped
~ the doctors somehow made a horrible mistake and she didn't really have cancer
~ she would fall into the percentage of Ewing's patients with promising survival rates, because it was the much greater percentage due to the comprehensive plan of attack (I no longer put much stock in percentages)
~ she would physically and emotionally withstand the initial aggressive treatment protocol
~ she would cope with the fact that her surgery meant the end of her ability to play competitive volleyball, and she would find a new passion

~ she would develop the tools needed to navigate her very-abnormal adolescent life, and those learned skills would carry her through the years to come
~ after the ten months of treatment she would be cured and have to go back to the hospital only for periodic scans
~ life would get back to sort-of normal, whatever that was going to be, and she'd run wherever her heart took her and find happiness

When she relapsed by her three-month scans and the initial shock began to settle somewhat, I hoped
~ she would be able to recover and regroup after her very-quick relapse, and then would have the ability to do so each subsequent time the disease progressed
~ she would be able to continue to transition back and forth, from the cancer world to the normal world, without missing too many beats (that's a really hard thing to do because as they say, "the beat goes on")

~ she would feel well enough, often enough and long enough, to grab a whole lot of life within the time she had
~ people would see HER, rather than the disease and its effects

~ her body could continue to physically tolerate the surgeries, chemotherapy drugs and radiation treatments that seemed to be mounting into absurdly intolerable quantities

~ God would see fit to perform a miracle and cure her, even though I couldn't give Him a reason why He should cure my child as opposed to all the other sick children whose desperate mothers were asking for the same miracle - I constantly begged anyway
When reality came crashing down, I hoped
~ her pain would always be controlled quickly
~ she would not be afraid

~ she would be with us as long as possible, and we would understand when it was time to let go and not try to keep her longer for our own selfish reasons
~ her passing would be peaceful and everyone would be with her

Now, my hopes are
~ that I will continue to be grateful for and have the ability to focus on what I was blessed to have, even if it was only for a short eighteen years, as opposed to what I now don't have
~ that I will see joy in the little things

~ that I will be positively impacted by the way she lived her life and have the ability to share that with others
~ that I will eventually find my way


  1. This is a beautiful post. I am a friend of Kizzy's. I am forty years old and was diagnosed with breast cancer 1.5 years ago. My son was 3 at the time. This brings a whole different kind of fear and pain. Will I see him grow up?

    This is nothing compared to the pain you feel. It's so deep.

    However, I do understand a parent's love for their child. You are a brave woman. I know you are helping so many others with this blog. Stay strong and keep blogging.

  2. Sending love to you. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  3. Dear Lesly,

    Thank you for introducing yourself, but I'm sorry I don't know who Kizzy is. Perhaps she has commented before and not left her name?

    As I said in my post, it's all a matter of perspective. I don't know the kind of pain you feel, as a mother having to face the challenge of fighting this fight while knowing you have a child who loves and needs you. Your fear and pain are every bit as deep as mine - just different.

    I hope you are doing well now, taking things a step at a time and soaking up every bit of your son and everything else life has to offer.

    Please stay in touch.

  4. Hi. Kizzy informed me today that you know her as Katherine. Sorry for the confusion and thank you for your kind words.

  5. Mare: Another stunning example of your continued growth and amazing ability to share with those around you. Epilogue in the works? Jim

  6. Oh Jim - WAY too much business left on the body to close with an epilogue yet... someday

    Thanks for watching and continuing to support me as I grow. I'm most definitely still a work in progress!

  7. Mrs. Potts,

    I loved this post, thank you for always opening your heart and soul and letting us be a part of it...a part of Erin's. I look forward to reading your blog weekly, it makes me wake up and put my life and my little problems into perspective and really appreciate everything I have. Keep writing, you do it beautifully.

    Stacy G. (Sarah's friend)

    ...and I am tickled pink that the picture of my license plate made the blog...Erin's always with me!