A matter of life or death

The main difference between us is I want to live and you want to die. That was the realization that I had when I went to a mom’s group for coping with post-partum depression. I worried that I would have trouble unpacking the emotions of being a new mom and a cancer patient all at once.

One of the moms in the group talked about how she wanted to die. I wondered if she would feel differently if she found out that she would die within a year, that is, if she declined treatment for cancer.

Would she still be okay with dying? Would she change her mind? Does having a say, so to speak, in dying make a difference?

I’m not dismissing her feelings. Her feelings are real. Being a parent is really fucking hard.

It’s just that I would do anything to see my son grow up. My heart breaks at the thought of him growing up without me. Who will hold his hand on the first day of school? Who will snuggle him when he has a bad dream? Who will swoon over him, proudly snapping a million pictures on his graduation day? Who will tearfully dance with him at his wedding?

I want it to be me.

But it might be his dad. Or his grandparents. Or his aunt and uncle. Or his new mom.

It’s odd to think about it but if I’m not around, I hope that my husband remarries. Obviously, not right away. I’m pretty awesome, so it’s going to take some time to replace me. He could have a few rebound flings first.

I want him to be happy. To move on. Not because our son needs both a mom and dad. Our son will grow up to be an amazing person because he has a village of people who love him dearly.

But I would miss out on all of it. Just that thought alone makes tears stream down my cheeks.

I just don’t get it. I don’t want to die. I want to live.

I feel for this mom. I just can’t relate to her. Just like someone who hasn’t had cancer can feel for me but can’t truly relate.

Surrounding myself with people who get it helps. A lot.

She was in the exact group she needed to be in. I was not. It was not the right group for me. She was getting the help she needed to tackle this.

That’s why support is so important. There is a tribe of people who get it. Who can really relate.

You just need to find them.





1 thought on “A matter of life or death”

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I felt, and still do feel, the same way when I was diagnosed with stage IV cancer when my daughter was a year old. The idea that I could die and leave my precious baby with no memories of me, to miss out on being her mother in all but the most basic of ways, it almost destroyed me. It also made me more determined to fight. She is almost 2 1/2 now, I’m still counting down until the when she will be old enough to remember me. All this is to say that I understand. I hope you continue to be stable.


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