Around the time of Gracie’s first birthday Ryan started making a film for the party including interviews of all her close family members. I have to say, thinking about my pending interview was very traumatic. I was the last person to do my interview because I kept putting it off. I knew my husband and I knew he was going to ask me what it was like being told I had cancer just after having Grace. I don’t think you can ever truly speak about what it is like being told you have cancer as a brand new mom. Mainly because it is an emotion that can’t be conveyed in words due to it being so powerful. Also it is SO hard to focus after the fact on that particular moment when you were told. All other things occurring after that news begin to cloud your judgment on what your thoughts were.
We started filming earlier in the day and all I could do was cry because of all the post news occurrences. I had tears for many reasons:
- The magnitude of the past year and everything that had happened.
- The wonderful joy that came out of the past year.
- The pride I had and still have for how I handled it.
- The gratitude I have for all the wonderful things people did for me.
- The pain of dealing with people treating me like crap in my most vulnerable state.
- The realization that adding cancer to being a new mom was less than easy.
- The amazing people I met and continue to meet because of this journey. Without this journey I would have never encountered these wonderful people. I am forever blessed to know Dr. Method, Jackie, Deb, Vicki, Lori, Erin, Pam, and all of the staff at Michiana Hematology Oncology for that matter. Dr. Carney, Emily, and Mary Anne from the neurology office. Finally, all the amazing fellow fighters I have had the pleasure to correspond with.
- The lingering side-effects and the continuous battle to not let them consume me.
- My husband and his strength.
- My Gracie and the strength she gave me.
- My mom who has generosity beyond belief and has dealt with so, so much crap in her life. It was heartbreaking for me to add me getting cancer to her plate. She took us in, new baby included so I was close to my treatment center and could have extra support during the evenings with Grace. More on her and taking care of everybody including her elderly, mother in a later post. (My mom in my opinion is a saint. She goes to amazing lengths to help others no matter how she is treated. She amazes me every day.)
Later Grace woke up because she was cutting teeth and darn that kid- she gave me strength once again and I was able to answer my question. Her presence helped me focus on the question and brought back the flood of emotions I felt when I was told. My emotions when receiving the news were not emotions of fear. They were a complete focus on how it was going to impact Grace. Looking back it is astonishing with something so huge, and only having Grace in my life for 3 weeks at that point, my motherly instincts were so strong. Having her sit with me, snuggling close by while doing my interview, knowing she is okay and one of the happiest babies I have ever met made me feel like maybe this was how it was supposed to be. Having her made me immediately go into survival mode, be the best mommy possible mode, not fear mode. I thank God every day that she wasn’t sick and my sickness was a hurdle, not a roadblock or ending point. Grace is my life’s best work. I know raising her is what I was meant to do with my life. I am so thankful the chance to raise her was not taken away from me. Here is a clip on my thoughts about being told I had cancer after Gracie’s birth.