Family Dynamic Changes...Good or Bad?

I’m often asked if my family dynamics changed when I was diagnosed with lung cancer and if was it a good or bad change. I’m usually asked by someone who was diagnosed with lung cancer or a terminal illness. Sometimes I’m asked by someone if their family member or good friend was diagnosed with something bad. I guess they are trying to find out if family members will change, but all I can do is share my experience and I tell them everyone is different. So, don’t get your hopes up or expect more or less.

Facing lung cancer together as a family

For me, 2 out of my 5 children didn’t handle it quite well and made poor choices. Throughout the 7 ½ years my now 21-year-old is dealing with the consequences of her choices. There’s nothing I can do but hope and pray that she now sees the poor choices she made, deal with the consequences and learn from them. Yes, she’s still young and can turn her life around, but this isn’t what I visioned when she was born. My now 25-year-old went to college and graduated but it wasn’t what she wanted to do. She wanted to go away to college, but I got diagnosed and she went to a local university. She graduated and received her bachelor’s, but it wasn’t what she wanted, and not doing anything with that degree.

I try to really think and say, “they need to go through their own battles and storms to achieve their purpose.” But as a mother it’s hard and you only want the best for your children. I do hope that they get their lives together and better themselves. I show both my daughters my strength and courage every day in fighting lung cancer. I also show them that lung cancer never stopped me from doing anything. So, I’m hoping this will light a fire in them to do better and reach for the stars!

Learning from my family

My other daughter and two sons went off to college and have great jobs. They saw their mother as a fighter, warrior, and survivor and knew nothing is impossible. Not that my two other daughters didn’t, but I think they let fear control them and that lead to poor choices and decisions. But maybe they needed to make those poor choices in order for them to grow, learn from it and help towards their purpose on this earth. I’d like to think we are all here for a purpose.

My husband just about lost it when I was diagnosed. I joked with him and told him “hmmm you must be feeling guilty about something.” It was a great way for us to laugh and forget about my diagnosis, even if it was for a few minutes. My mother was 80 years old when I was diagnosed and not in the best of health, but she made sure to take care of herself so she could be there for me. She actually moved in and lived with us for a year, but unfortunately, 3 years later I lost her. She showed me how to stay positive and fight and when she took her last breath, I told her it was ok to go and that I will be alright.

Proud of my family's strength

Everyone’s situation is different, some can handle bad, devastating news and some can’t. I think my family for the most part handle it pretty darn well and I believe it was a good change. My strength and determination to fight and live will carry on to my children and grandchildren. Because when those storms start coming their way, they’ll remember how their mom and grandmother got through those storms and were always victorious!

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