While at the cancer clinic last week awaiting my radiation treatment, I had the pleasure of meeting a lovely woman whose positive attitude shone through despite her stage four diagnosis. Somehow the conversation came around to my blog (aaahem, I’m not sure how that keeps happening), and she was kind enough to share a perk with me. Sitting in a wheelchair with her mother by her side, she beamed as she told me about her three children, and about how cancer seemed to bring her whole family closer together. As ugly as cancer is, I thought, it is beautiful how it can unite families in time of need.
My biggest fear when I learned that I had cancer was that my children might be left without a mother. This fear was magnified for Ben, as he is my youngest, he has autism, and his family spans two continents. My two older children are technically his “half” brother and sister (although I do not allow that term in my house, as there is no such thing as halves when it comes to sibling love). He also has three “half” sisters in England from his father’s side of the family.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of witnessing Ben’s joy as he was reunited with his British sister, Faye. She was kind enough to leave her family for two weeks to help her father take care of Ben while I was away having treatments. Although Ben is a boy of few words, I could tell by how his face lit up that he and Faye share that special brother-sister bond despite not growing up together. I am so grateful that even the broad Atlantic cannot keep this family from uniting in a time of need. It also gives me great comfort to know that when I do leave this world, at around the ripe old age of 90, Ben will continue to be loved and looked after.
Tip: Cancer has a way of bringing families together. If you are separated or estranged from someone in your family, reach out to them in your time of need.