Chemotherapy
A Page From My Book...

Tue, 18 Dec 2001

When Phil was diagnosed, it changed our world, our whole life. He would have to undergo 9 months of intensive chemotherapy, followed by 2½ years of maintenance chemotherapy. Supposedly easier than regular chemo, but we found as time went on, it built up in his system. What would wipe him out for a weekend in the beginning, ended up being close to a week in the end.

We rejoiced the day he was done with all of that. We practically danced our way out of the office, with big smiles on our faces. I think they wondered about us. Some are afraid to stop the chemo, for fear of the cancer coming back. We didn't think a whole lot about that, we were just as happy that Phil was done as he was.

Three months later the cancer did return. Much too quickly, but that is another story. Why I write this here now, is because I am thinking about our grief, about our loss and about the journey we have just started on.

Some say it takes 2-5 years to complete grief, whatever that means. Will it ever be really over, but I guess itís a return to a somewhat normal feeling inside. If that is true, then this journey resembles the other. We have just been diagnosed with "Grief". The treatment plan will include maybe 9 months of intensive Grief, followed by 2½ years of maintenance Grief. At the end of that time, we should be finished, somewhat. That is a long haul, but we understand that, because of what Phil had to endure. And that was only part of his full 5½ years of treatments and feeling bad.

If my son could endure such a long haul, can we not? Don't we owe it to him to at least try and try to come out of this healthy? Should we be struggling with these feelings of giving up, not wanting to go on, when we have only just begun the Grief treatment? I feel like a failure, that a young boy could do so well, and I can be such a wimp. What kind of a person am I? When it hurts a little, or even a lot, I want to call out "STOP"! He never did that. All the times we packed up his bags to go to the hospital to make him "sick", even though he HATED it, he didn't fight us. He did what he had to do, without complaining. All those years of suffering and sickness and being tired, and being weighted down with exhaustion, without complaining. How can I even think I have the right to complain now?

What a trooper he was! What a wonder boy! What a person! What a faith he had! What perseverance and determination in the face of death. I hope I have learned something from him here. I hope I can hang onto that and stop feeling sorry for myself because I miss him. I hope I can be happier for him that he is done than I will be miserable for myself because I hurt. I thought myself strong, and I am so weak. I thought because he didn't want to walk for miles or climb hills or play ball, he was falling a bit below what I expected of a son. And now, now I'm learning that he had more guts and strength than I will ever know. Thank you Phil for teaching me that!

I will keep moving forward as best I can, and try to recall all that you have taught me about perseverance and your faith in the Almighty! Thank you!