Herewith this week’s article as penned by Ethan’s Mom, Gila Jacobs, on her feelings as an Onco Mom in dealing with the daily trials and tribulations of cancer. As originally explained, this article is posted as is to maintain integrity and passion.
18 August 2014
My thoughts have been pretty “normal” thoughts lately… Ethan’s birthday is coming up and we are planning a party, I managed to arrange a weekend away for us on a shoe-string budget, I’m planning to have friends over for a get together… you know, normal things that ordinary people do all the time.
However, every now and then the looming post-cancer late effects come into play. Such as the fact that my child is now about a year behind with achieving his milestones, doesn’t speak proper words, throws lots of tantrums and is playing “catch-up” in many other areas like eating meat off the bone and not requiring everything to be mashed all the time.
But besides all this, I was looking at his feet and legs yesterday and remembered what the radiologist who handled his radiation treatment told me… “Due to his bone being exposed to radiation he could have stunted growth in his right leg”… this means his right leg may end up shorter than his left. The bone affected is also more prone to break and therefore he will never be able to play contact sports. His testicles did get some exposure to the radiation although they tried very hard to avoid this, but it means he may never have children. All these things my child as a cancer survivor still has to face. And I have to face them with him.
We went to the beach and saw his face light up to see the ocean. Fearlessly he ran straight ahead. Into the waves! No worries about cancer, shorter legs or infertility… just a little boy excited to be at the beach. Even passers-by commented on his excitement and have no idea of all he’s been through and all he still has to overcome. They just noticed that he is cute and happy and having an infectious good time!
My point? Well my point is that what lies ahead is exactly that… still ahead! Right now, Ethan is enjoying life at every opportunity he gets! He’s going straight for it! And I need to learn that lesson from him… go for it! Go for being normal! Go and eat chocolate so that your whole face and clothes is full of it! Go for doing normal things, go for that wave, stick your hands in that sand, taste it even… if you really wanna know what sand tastes like!
I have been getting to know the Ethan that was always there, but simply muted by chemo and meds and hospital visits. My Ethan is actually loud, curious and adventurous AND fearless… I aspire to be like him… hell I’m aspiring to be 3 years old and loving it!
My name is Gila Jacobs, my son Ethan is recovering from cancer. My husband and I are recovering from shock, stress, financial burdens due to medical bills and plain and simple exhaustion. This is our story.