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Posted by Steph in
3 Years Post-Treatment, Feelings, on Friday, April 23. 2010 at
A long while back, someone asked me, through a private message on this website, what my beliefs were....it was regarding a relative of her's who was quite angry at God because a tiny relative got a brain tumor....no God would allow a good family to suffer like that, was his claim....but she wanted to try to make him believe like her, that God didn't cause the cancer, and no one should blame God....and God could/should/would comfort them during their time of pain...
Yesterday, I had one of my mini-meltdowns. After a few different "medical" things ("symptoms") were showing up with Asher, I just lost it and cried and cried and cried some more. Because, sometimes it is just too much for me to take.
You might think after four years of living with the knowledge that my son had brain cancer, and three years of not having to live with it (meaning not being in treatment), that this would all just be a nightmare from my past. A big bad dream. A traumatic event that I am just supposed to let go of, kind of like crossing the monkey bars, because it is in the past. You might think I could stop thinking about
WHY DID MY SON GET CANCER?
WHEN DID IT START TO GROW?
DID HIS TIGHTLY WRAPPED UMBILICAL CORD CAUSE HIS EYE DAMAGE AND MAKE THE TUMOR GROW?
DOES HE HAVE A SPECIAL GENE THAT MADE HIM GET THIS?
WILL MY OTHER SON GET CANCER?
WHEN IS IT GOING TO COME BACK?
WHEN IS IT MY TURN TO WATCH MY CHILD HAVE A RECURRENCE?
You might think it, and I might think it.
But, just like the many other things that float around in my brain at any given moment, those questions hover in there and all it takes is hearing, "I have a headache," to bring them right up front. When they are in front of my mind, Asher's cancer might as well be back, because I throw myself into a research mode. I can't stop. I Google, looking for answers. I want answers. I NEED ANSWERS. I look for answers to things I don't really need answers for, at this time. I talk myself into 'these symptoms mean his cancer is back' and then I go looking for proof, or lack of proof. Then the heart (the part heavy in faith) comes in and tells the mind, stop it, his cancer isn't back, he has a cold, get over yourself, pick yourself up, get off the computer, he's cured....but I remain very fragile for hours and even days after....
It is sometimes a battle between science and faith in my own mind. I'm still convinced it is okay to be an engineer and believe in spirits.
So last week with the hand tremor, this week with the headaches, tummy aches, and eye flutters....yeah, I have been stunned and numb and very emotional the last two days. And, I tell myself, it is all for nothing. There is no reason to be panicking, or crying, or thinking what-if, or believing in anything past today, really.
Yet, I want answers. And I often think about gathering all the cases of childhood brain tumors and looking at the data so I can find the cause for my son's cancer.
But, I'm not going to get answers. And, I am trying to learn to not need them.
If Asher didn't get a fever last night, I could get an MRI, and a clear scan could bring me back down. Back down to some normalcy. I'd be back to functioning, but....BUT THOSE QUESTIONS HAVEN'T BEEN ANSWERED.
I am an engineer. I problem solve. I think ahead. I think about what-ifs. I believe in the right and wrong answers. I believe there is a solution to avoid buckling and failure. I believe there ARE answers.
I believe in God. I believe in spiritual connections. I believe in "the other side" (Heaven to some of you). However, I am not religious.
I do believe in medicine. I do believe in clinical trials, chemotherapy, surgery, doctors, nurses, antibiotics (oh do I believe in antibiotics!!)....
I do believe God works through people.
I do not believe death is a bad thing. (That's a tough one to leave as one sentence, without further explaining, but I am going to leave it.)
I do believe in angels and spirits. I do believe my maternal grandmother has sent me messages in my dreams. I do believe my father has visited me at night to comfort me.
I do not believe everything happens for a reason. I do not believe my son got cancer for a reason.
I do not believe in praising God when my son gets a clear MRI; I don't believe God or Jesus had anything to do with it.
I do not believe if I pray for something I will receive that something.
I believe prayers don't have to be spoken.
I believe if I am angry with God, and ignore Him today, He will forgive me when I come back to Him tomorrow.
I believe everyone is allowed their own beliefs.
I do not know what I believe, or what there is to believe in or about, 100% of the time. I know tomorrow I could change my mind. And, I know, sometimes there are no words to express what I believe.
But....tonight I will say this:
As awesome as I think God is, I think people deserve way more praise and credit for what they do, who they are, and what they plan for tomorrow. People matter. People need comfort. People need encouragement, understanding, and hope. People need recognition and appreciation and respect. People deserve the truth; people can handle the truth. People are always growing. People need other people. People should be trusted. People should work together to build something better.
And that is love.
People should love each other before they die....