Sunday, January 5, 2014

An Odd Little Comparison

I've drawn a lot of analogies to cancer-related experiences in this space. I've talked about planes and snow, falling ice and flash mobs, and I've been pretty P.C. in the meantime. Tonight, however, I'm going to go out on a limb and, with whatever degree of humor you need to interpret to not hate me, I will compare the experience of having cancer to the experience of having children.

I know that I'm prefacing with the following paragraphs, but this one may need it. Firstly, please know that I have the utmost respect for the millions of men and women who desperately want children and, for whatever reason (including stupid cancer), struggle to have them. I pray those good people get their wish and when they do, I'd bet most of the honest (and lucky) ones will agree with what I've written below.

Secondly, I can already hear the wrath of the types of women who freaked out when Brooke Shields talked about postpartum depression; they'd probably want my head on a fancy plate. Oh well. I'm just being honest, as are all of the women who talk about how much PPD sucks. Because it does, whether people want to admit it or not.

Third, I am not comparing children to cancer as I can't see anything that they have in common aside from the fact that they both involve cells. Here I will compare dealing with cancer to dealing with children, because there really are some similarities between the two.

After the night I had with my son yesterday that ended with me icing my face and frustrated beyond words, I felt like I needed to jot some of those similarities down, mainly to amuse myself, and to prove that nothing is really beyond words. I never planned on finishing the list and I certainly never anticipated publishing it (as a potential adoptive parent, it may be best not to reveal how much I actually fail at the role sometimes). Then, tonight, after Teddy hugged me at bedtime with more love than he's ever hugged me with before, I changed my mind.

I pray that none of my kids ever understand these similarities in the first person, but I feel confident that if they have children, they'll know just what I'm talking about.

25 Similarities Between Having Cancer and Having Children

(1) Both completely change your life, even if it looks like you're doing the same thing.

(2) Counting slowly to ten becomes extremely helpful.

(3) When something new and different happens (e.g., your toes go numb or your three-year-old swears when his favorite team screws up), you react, then you wonder if you overreacted or under-reacted.

(4) Both make you appreciate any help you can get, especially if it involves food or babysitting.

(5) Both make you want each day to simultaneously slow down and speed up.

(6) Both cause you to age like a dog, mentally, if not physically, too.

(7) A plan becomes nothing more than a starting point and you need to be ready to adjust and adapt at any moment.

(8) Both make you appreciate your parents more than ever before.

(9) For many, both lead to the need for a great plastic surgeon.

(10) Both can make you start to pull your hair out.

(11) All those people who had cancer or kids before you...they become your heroes.

(12) If you haven't already, you find out who your real friends are and you cherish them forever.

(13) When you look like a wreck, you don't care like you used to. You just hope that people understand why without you having to explain it.

(14) You feel love and gratitude like you've never felt them before.

(15) You feel anger, fear, and frustration like you've never felt them before.

(16) You learn that it's possible to feel love, gratitude, anger, fear, and frustration at the very same moment.

(17) Both experiences make you reflect on people, places, ideas, and so many other things that you previously took for granted.

(18) Both experiences can give you nosebleeds.

(19) Both make your weight and moods fluctuate like a thermometer in New England.

(20) Both can seriously f$%k with your sleep habits.

(21) If you don't let go of your pride, you're doomed.

(22) If you're surrounded by wonderful people (particularly, a significant other and/or a parent), the experience is exponentially easier.

(23) Both experiences make you realize how very fragile, and how very precious life can be.

(24) Both teach you the deep power of hope and faith.

(25) Both teach you that shit happens, but miracles do, too.

Happy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. Ha! I have thought about every one of these comparisons and a few more even. Funny when I've talked other mothers through treatment, I've always found myself comparing treatment to pregnancy for some reason, the main comparison being the feeling of helplessness when you are told that your treatment (your delivery) is over and you can go on home and live your life without medical professionals overseeing you each week! You realize the due date/end of treatment date is simply a date and the that the real experience begins when those are over. But the side effects are strangely similar too--changes in appearance, heartburn, nausea, sleep disruption just to name a few.... and you take your partner with you to the medical appointments as almost a co-patient. I could go on and on. Anyway, thanks for this. I get it. :) Happy and healthy new year! xo