Three years later…

It’s been three years now since my oldest son, Hunter, had his life-saving bone marrow transplant which seems to have cured him from leukemia.  Three years.  It seems like a life time ago in all honesty.  I’m not sure why I feel the need to keep writing about it.  But I do.  I can’t help it.  Maybe because I figure someone might stumble upon my blog and need reassurance that three years later, the bone marrow transplant is a distant memory.

Most of the time, it is.

We recently attended a retreat for families of children who have or have had leukemia.  The illness was such a thing of the past that it didn’t even seem to pertain to us.  Leukemia is no longer what we think about day in and day out.  Now, instead, we are dealing with the aftermath.

The learning differences.

The anxiety.

The depression.

The fear.

The emotional breakdowns (both his and mine).

The memories that will literally pop up out of no where and take my breath away.

The unknown.

There is still so much we don’t know about Hunter’s condition.  We don’t know if he’s sterile yet.  We don’t know if he’ll end up with secondary conditions as a result of his treatments.  We don’t know how his academic performance will be made more and more difficult as his school work becomes more challenging.  And we just learned at his three year check up that we don’t even know if his heart is functioning appropriately.

What I do know is that three years later, in many ways, I’m less hopeful.  Less grateful.  Less optimistic.  I know how this sounds.  I sound like one of those people you would like to throttle.  I didn’t lose my son to cancer.  I didn’t suffer the unthinkable.  He’s here.  He’s relatively healthy.  He’s doing okay.

But after three years of watching him fight, suffer, try multiple medications,

lose friends, be bullied, be ignored, cry, break down, go from counselor to counselor, and in general live a miserable existence, I’ve grown a bit jaded.

Fighting the good fight.  Two peas in a pod.

Fighting the good fight. Two peas in a pod.

So, I’m here to tell you that three years later, it still hurts.  I’m still scared as hell.  I’m exhausted. And I’m starting to think that there is no hope.  I wish that wasn’t the case but it’s the truth.  It’s my truth.  And, well, I hate putting such negativity out there but dammit, I’m tired.  I’m sad. And I’m not sure if there is any chance that I won’t be tired and sad ever again.  At least when it comes to my son.

It just sucks.

Can’t imagine what it’s like for him.


6 thoughts on “Three years later…

  1. Oh mama hang in there! Your post nearly brought me to tears. Think of it this way — he has his LIFE. Changes can be made, you can try homeschooling if school is causing too much stress, he will weed through the mean kids and find only the truly good people to be friends with. Stay strong, you are both inspirational!

      • One of the reasons why I started my blog. All I ever read were the “we got home from the NICU and things were happily ever after” stories. It was hardly my experience at all. Sometimes life is not fair. There is really no sugar coating that fact. Much love to you guys.

  2. Mandy,
    Thank you for sharing your family’s reality. Remember…Hunter and I were in Vanderbilt getting our transplants at the same time…he was in the childrens hospital and I was across the street on the 11th floor. I followed his progress like a beacon in the night. Your posts and photos made me feel like I wasn’t alone. Don’t get me wrong…I had the support of family and friends but something about going through it together was comforting to me.

    Rides from Murfreesboro, a crap ton of medicine, hickman catheters, picklines, blah, blah, blah…It was our life at the time. And now I so badly want to be “hopeful.” I survived cancer! I should be happy and sometimes I am but I can safely say that three years past cancer and I have never been more depressed. I have a great therapist…she gets through at times but mostly I am there to have meds altered, increased, decreased…The anxiety is crippling. Getting out of bed every day is a major accomplishment. I work to earn money but mostly to go somewhere and attempt to feel needed and structured otherwise I would lay in the safety of my bedroom all day everyday.

    It’s ok with me if you have no hope and are tired and jaded. I am too. I don’t want to be but moving on just hasn’t been that easy. There was a time I felt I could do anything in the world I wanted but mostly that state of mind has been lost and I can’t manage to find it.

    Sharing positive things is easy and popular. Thank you for some honesty about cancer.


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