Photo by sachman75
In light of my mum’s story (I can’t believe I was only 13 that year!). I thought I’d share some of my memories from that time.
I sort of remember mum telling me she had cancer, and that she wouldn’t lose her hair. I was worried and a bit upset, but I tried not to show it. As a young’n in the world I didn’t really know the ins and outs of cancer, only what I’d seen on TV – baldness, death. Mum wasn’t going to lose her hair, so she’d be fine.
I discovered that my school friend’s mum had stomach cancer and recovered. He became my lean-on guy when I was upset. One particular day I was upset because I was afraid that I’d get cancer. He asked me how old my mum was and he said, “So you have about 40 years until you get cancer, if you do. Why worry about it now?” He was either very sensible or he had no idea what to say! Either way, I felt better. 😛
You know day-nightmares? I’m sure lots of people do it, daydreaming about terrible things. When someone runs late, you imagine what would happen if they were in a train or car crash. Or when you have a headache you wonder what would happen if you had a brain tumour. Well, during high school I wondered what would happen if mum was gone. I loved her heaps and didn’t resent her, wasn’t embarrassed by her like some daughters seem to be. When she got breast cancer it was like that fear was being realised. Thank goodness it wasn’t!
One of my other fears was that one of my friends would crash his motorbike and break his neck. He actually did break some vertebrae in a push bike accident that same year. He’s fine now, no spinal damage or anything.
It’s interesting that mum said she wasn’t angry about getting breast cancer. I was angry at God for letting these things happen to the people I loved. I had some very angsty teenage years, only to come out of them and see how foolish I’d been. God is in control.
Mum didn’t know if the purpose of her cancer has revealed itself yet, I think part of it for me was learning to trust God.
After mum had recovered there was a news story on the radio. A Canadian study suggested that the stress caused by women finding benign breast lumps may have detrimental health effects. I called in to a talk-back radio show about that report. I told them that the story was silly – women have to keep checking their breasts! Of course I can see where the study is coming from, but instead of discouraging people to check their breasts or discouraging them to go to their doctor because ‘it’s probably nothing’, they should encourage people to check and go to their doctor as quickly as possible to get a diagnosis. A quick diagnosis of nothing would be much less detrimental than ‘it’s too late, it’s progressed too far’.
My memories from that year seem to be few – I suppose that happens while you get older and make more memories. It’s good to have this chance to reflect.