Time is not always a healer

They say (whoever “they” are) that time is a healer. This is not always true. The saying implies that after a certain period of time following a crisis that you will go back to how things were before the crisis. That you will not have been affected. That the crisis left no mark on your life. Society expects you to “suck it up buttercup” because they cannot cope with the idea that you may still be hurting and grieving after all this time. They usually know exactly how much time it has been and tell you that time is up. It’s ok now. It has been a year, two years, ten years … So instead we start to pretend to be ok because that’s actually easier for the other person. It’s easier than trying to explain to someone why you cannot get back to normal, why you cannot just “get over it”.
Who will understand that as oncology parents we arm ourselves with hope against death every single day. And even if our children survive, we know plenty who do not. And the treatment our children endure puts them at greater risk of getting cancer again. They are closely monitored because it is necessary – it doesn’t give them greater protection or make them luckier than others. 
Every hospital appointment is a reminder of what our child has been through and how helpless we were to stop it. Every scar on their body is a mark of how brave they had to be because there was no other choice, and how brave we had to be to trust others with the life of our child. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, blood tests – not just once, but medical procedures over and over again until we wanted to scream “no more!” and take our child in our arms and run out of the hospital. Back to how things used to be. But we can’t. We can’t ever go there again. 
So as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month of September nears, please remember that we are trying to “get over it” but it takes more than just time. It takes a better understanding. It takes courage to share our stories and courage to listen. Please do not just scroll past. Please stop, read, reflect and share. Thank you. 

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