Guest Blog – Dyan Fox

***This is written by a mom new to the world of cancer.. her daughter just recently diagnosed and about to begin treatment. A few weeks ago.. she was “just a mom” and her little girl was healthy. ***

What They Don’t Tell You

There will be a buzzing in your ears when you hear the news.

The doctors’ words will fall over the room like broken glass.

Her first dance class
Her first dance class

You’ll hear things like ‘tumor’ and ‘cancer’ and frantically try to avoid the shards, but you’ll be hemmed in by those pale green walls.

“Why can’t there be any color in this office?” you’ll want to scream. “Why can’t there be some kind of life?”

Sick after her MRI from the anesthesia. At this point we only thought she had scoliosis. We learned about the tumors 4 days later.
Sick after her MRI from the anesthesia. At this point we only thought she had scoliosis. We learned about the tumors 4 days later.

Eventually, the appointment will be over and you’ll walk out into the world, having to blink at the sunlight that won’t stop shining, no matter what thoughts are roaring inside your head. You’ll look over at whoever was in that room with you, and you’ll want to ask, “What just happened?”

No one will tell you what to do once you leave that doctor’s office, and you’ll rage over this, assuming they don’t care how you cope with the news.

No one will warn you of the kinds of thoughts you’ll have, that you’ll go to sleep and wake up with the same acid stomach, that you’ll spend all day either falling prey to thoughts of doom or using most of your energy to keep them away.

The treatment possibilities were laid out before you like a sick game of cards and the words that made them up were useless to you then.

But now, you shuffle them around inside your head and latch on to the one that’s the least terrifying, even though none of them will be ‘easier’ or ‘better’. And you’ll secretly hate yourself for wanting the easy one, because it isn’t even you who’ll have to endure it. It’s your sweet, tiny child.

Loving summer
Loving summer

In moments of clarity, you’ll latch onto the fact that your child’s diagnosis could have been so much worse.

You’ll know there are families going through worse than you, and you’ll try to reach out to feel their pain, like you’re one of those giant radio telescopes and can receive their signal.

You’ll want to broadcast out to them in a big, booming voice ‘I know what you’re going through, and I’m sorry’ but you don’t know how to speak that loud, and you don’t even know how to try.

No one, no matter who they are (or what they say) will make you feel any better.

Their words won’t register in your dark, cloudy brain. They might even sound, in your worst moments, like they’re empty condolences. But you know they’re not meant that way.

You know no one can understand the pain you’re holding right beneath the surface of your skin, the fears and screams you’re too afraid to let loose.

You’ll endure these conversations, maybe even start some of them because there are people who ‘have to know’, and as they happen you’ll feel less and less understood, and more and more alone.

In the days that follow, you’ll feel these people’s pity, awkwardness or unease and it’ll create a glow of anger inside you that’ll grow stronger with time.

Eventually, you won’t want to see or talk to anyone at all.

Showing daddy her pretty hairdo.
Showing daddy her pretty hairdo.

But you’ll know, way down deep, that you’re going to have to withstand all of this.

Every stinking, last bit.

You’ll understand you’re not going to be able to fall apart and stay that way, because your child and your family need you.

Waiting for her MIBG injection and playing with daddy
Waiting for her MIBG injection and playing with daddy

You’ll know that you’re going to have to push your shoulders back, inhale and exhale, and adjust as this life becomes normal.

You’ll wake up every morning, and resign yourself to get through every step of the grieving.

You’ll continue to take care of your family and pour yourself into helping your child survive, because this is what you do.

Watching Sofia the First and waiting for her MIBG scan
Watching Sofia the First and waiting for her MIBG scan

And one day, you’ll realize that you were made to bear this, that you really are the strongest person you’ll ever know.   

You’ll open yourself up to the world you receded from, and you’ll show your wounds of grief with pride.

And all of this you’ll do for her.

Being goofy at the county fair
Being goofy at the county fair

11 Responses to “Guest Blog – Dyan Fox”

    1. I wish the same thing. Not even just for me. For everyone. I can’t begin to describe how painful this is, and it happens to dozens of families every day. That’s almost worse than what we’re going through.

  1. I’m so sorry that your beautiful daughter is going through this (and you as well). I’m praying for the day when a doctor tells a parent, “Your child has cancer, but that’s OK because we can get rid of it easily”. No parent should have to go through what you are. I promise to raise awareness and funds for the fight against pediatric cancer…one day, hopefully very soon, those painful and toxic “treatments” will be a thing of the past. Praying for your daughter!

  2. This is more than anyone should have to bear. Dang cancer. Sending positive thoughts to you and those working to battle these diseases.

  3. Beautifully expressed and written, Dyan. You have so much strength, and you will inhale and exhale and help your daughter through these despicable treatments. Thank you for sharing what your experience is like–many people here are reading and sending you powerful love for your journey. <3

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