I am happy, so happy that I experienced this person I could be. I only wish it could have come about in another way. But I feel as if every day that goes by, she starts drifting further and further away. What was it? What was the power I felt when Gabriella was going through treatment that I don't feel now? It's an incredible strength you find when all that matters is saving that little life you created. Nothing else mattered. Nothing. I didn't care about what they said, didn't care about breaking the rules, didn't care about being anything but what I was....a fighter; a fighter for my daughter. It was so freeing. It focused me into being someone with one goal. The most important goal of my life. Nothing else mattered.
Now, life is changing. Life has changed. It's been almost two years. I am tired. I don't have the adrenaline or the anxiety that pushed me so incredibly hard through a year of madness. I'm drifting away from it. And I don't want to. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't give up my daughters health or happiness for anything. It's me. I was fighting a war and nothing else mattered but winning that war. Now, I'm here continuing to fight with half the energy I had then.
During Gabriella's treatment, I met so many children. So many kids fighting cancer that touched my life and affected me like I never knew they could. I followed their stories on social media, I messaged the parents, we kept in contact and I'd know every important moment in their lives. We would celebrate the highs and share tears in the lows. Now... I can't keep up. There are too many god damned stories to follow. I don't have that kind of bandwidth. I thought I did. Maybe I'm just realizing now that I'm only human. I struggle with it. I struggle that I can't be there and be that person I was. I struggle that my life has been sucked into this world of pediatric cancer that has now completely overwhelmed me.....and I feel like I HAVE TO KEEP FIGHTING. But I'm tired. Maybe it's just today because I'm sure tomorrow I'll jump right back into it.
It's been a constant stream of viruses this season. One sickness after another. That will wear one down and I am worn down. I used the be the kind of mom that when my kids would get sick, I wouldn't worry too much about it. I wasn't the kind of mom that took their temperature every 5 minutes or lost a lot of sleep over colds. (I had babies and I was already loosing sleep.) If they were warm, I'd feel their head and give them Tylenol. If they had a cough, I'd turn the humidifier on and that was that.
These days when Gabriella gets sick, I can feel every fiber of my being fighting that constant state of panic and anxiety we were in through treatment. I have to talk myself down every time I see her uncomfortable. It triggers. It triggers everything. Adam and I have those moments when we look at each other and I can tell he's feeling it too. Just a moment of an exchanged reassurance and we move on to clean up whatever vomit is on the ground, start a breathing treatment or give meds for a fever. I know he realizes where it's coming from as well.
I'm a restless soul. And when I can't keep up with it or give myself a moment to stop, I get frustrated, sometimes sad.
Life is full of change. Any mom will know you will experience so much through motherhood.
Even through pediatric cancer, there are times where a mom must embrace them, grow and be inspired through them all.