To The Mom of a Child with Cancer

You are enough.

I see you. I see you every single day with that look on your face. You still have the smile, the smile that tells me behind it has a whole lot more to say. I want you to know: You are enough.

I saw your face the day you heard the words child and cancer in the same sentence. It was the face that said “no, not my baby” and “was it something I did?” It was nothing you did, not one single thing. I want you to know: You are enough.

I saw your face the first time I administered chemotherapy into your child. You looked at me with a smile, but behind that smile, I knew you were silently cursing what I was doing. I was injecting poison into your child in hopes of saving their life. I felt like I could see your mind racing in 5000 different directions trying to figure out how it got to this point. You smiled, but I knew. I want you to know: You are enough.

I saw your face the first time you slept in the hospital on a couch that you probably questioned was less comfortable than the floor. You quickly adapted, realizing this was becoming your new normal. You never complained, even when I would fully understand if you did. Your new normal isn’t fair. I want you to know: You are enough.

I saw your face when I had to access your childs port. It is not an easy, painless process, but necessary for medication administration and fluid replacement. Your child looked to you for help, and I saw your eyes when you realize holding them down for proper placement is helping them- although they never understand that. I want you to know: You are enough.

I saw your face when your child threw up for the first time post chemotherapy. You looked helpless, defeated and scared, yet to me, you are strong, brave and a hero. You can’t take away the cancer, and you’re realizing that. You climbed up on the hospital bed with them, letting them know you’re there every step of the way. You’re doing your best to not cry because I’m in the room, but the whole world would understand if you did. I want you to know: You are enough.

I saw your face when your child took their first bite of food in a week. It was 4 french-fries and half a donut. I was so happy to see their appetite pick up a little bit, and so were you. 2 months ago, they wouldn’t even have known what a donut was. Today, we’re celebrating an interest in food. You are a great mom. We celebrate calories. Please don’t worry about the Facebook post where someone shouted “sugar causes cancer!” because they don’t understand what goes on on a pediatric oncology ward. I want you to know: You are enough.

I saw your face when you came out of the room to walk around the unit and you realized that there are several beautiful bald headed children occupying rooms. You got your first glimpse into realizing that childhood cancer is not rare. Your brave face remained, but I saw your heart sinking into a puddle. I want you to know: You are enough.

I saw your face when your sweet baby spiked a fever in the middle of the night, just as you started getting into a back home routine. You got admitted back to the floor, wondering if a fever was just a fever or was something else happening. You’ve spent 20 of the last 30 days of the month in the hospital. Your other kids are growing weary, not fully able to understand the necessity of the treatment. You’re tired, but still remain the strongest person I know. I want you to know: You are enough.

I saw your face when the doctors were rounding and each morning rounds got longer and longer, meaning that the list of problems were growing. You were not acting worried, but because I’m getting to know you very well, I knew you were. You later ask me what a specific term means that was brought up in rounding. I sit next to you and explain the best way I can. I see you watching my face for any expressions of a good or bad thought. I try my best to not let it know. I want you to show: You are enough.

I saw your face when after fighting this battle for what seemed like forever, your baby finally gets to ring the end of treatment bell. You let it all go. The months and months of built of panic, fear, frustrations and anxiety all flowed out in the form of tears. Your child, your most precious treasure, beat the odds. You were there beside them, even when you felt like you weren’t doing anything. I want you to know: You are enough.

I saw your face when your child survived treatment, but you heard that your fellow cancer mom’s child was given a poor prognosis. Your guilt is starting to overflow, the survivors guilt is tearing you down and you can’t stop crying. You thought the journey ending meant less anxiety, but you’re feeling guilty for celebrating your child when another mother isn’t given the same chance. Please celebrate your child, they’ve been through hell too. It is not your fault. I want you to know: You are enough.

I saw your face when you received the devastating news that your baby has limited time left on earth. You have spent your entire life caring for them, loving them and being the best mom you can be. I want you to know: You are enough.

I saw your face when your precious gift of life ran into the arms of Jesus. It was a different look this time. It was unexplainable. It was a look I will never forget and what drives me to continue fighting for more. Your child changed the world in so many ways. You raised your baby into a warrior and a hero. I will never forget them. I want you to know: You are enough.

To The Mother with a Child with Cancer as Mother’s Day is Approaching:

You are enough.

Love,

A pediatric oncology nurse who sees you, cares deeply for you and desperately wants you to know, you are enough.

Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

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