We just discovered my son’s vocal chords have also been damaged by the radiation he received almost 4 years ago. They don’t open into a wide “V” as they should, which is why he sounds like a loud Kazoo while breathing at night. We just removed his trach tube and were hoping we could sew up the trach hole, but with the injured chords, we first need to find out if he’s getting enough oxygen and REM sleep at night.
This new revelation threw me into an angry tizzy. You’d think by now I could weather the storm better. But the anger and loss seem to keep mounting. I was angry at the doctor for not listening to me. I was angry at the oncologist for patronizing me. I was angry at my husband for agreeing with them. For my husband’s sake, I realize it was his optimistic nature kicking into overdrive hoping above all hopes that everything was fine. I forgive him. I forgive the doctors. Life goes on.
I read parts of a book today titled Childhood Cancer Survivors: A Practical Guide to Your Future. As I read the section on emotions, I was validated in many ways especially in the sections on anger and grief and loss. As I said, the losses seem to keep piling up and the anger seems to suddenly consume me.
Quote: “It is now known, however, that survivors and their families often face many physical and psychological challenges after cure.”
Yes, we have been dealing with serious physical complications due to treatment since we began the cancer fight. And we aren't even considered "cured" yet!
Quote: “You will probably experience a range of strong emotions as you adjust to your after-cancer life; these can include fear of recurrence, anxiety, guilt, anger and grief as well as gratitude and joy.”
Anger and grief, I seem to be stuck there.
Quote: “These perfectly normal feelings are sometimes viewed by others as a problem when they are actually a natural response to a life-changing event. It is important and necessary to acknowledge these feelings in order to deal with what cannot be changed.”
Interestingly, the “physical and psychological challenges” can be present for the rest of the survivor’s and family’s life!
Then I read my devotional this morning by Oswald Chambers focusing on “Faith as small as a mustard seed…” Matthew 17:20. Chambers writes “We have the idea that God rewards us for our faith, it may be so in the initial stages; but we do not earn anything by faith, faith brings us into right relationship with God and gives God His opportunity. God has frequently to knock the bottom board out of your experience if you are a saint in order to get you into contact with Himself. God wants you to understand that it is a life of faith, not a life of sentimental enjoyment of His blessings.”
He went on to write, “Faith by its very nature must be tried, and the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God’s character has to be cleared in our own minds. Faith in the Bible is faith in God against everything that contradicts Him—I will remain true to God’s character whatever He may do.
So how do I join these two? What does “faith” have to do with “physical and psychological challenges”?
As I struggle through the “strong emotions” of my life and my family’s lives being forever altered and changed, because of childhood cancer and as I find new “physical damage” done to my son, because of the treatment he received; I know God is at work in our lives. He is faithful, because of His character, which has proved itself to me over and over again, and I realize…
Another bit of healing made…