A woman with a smile and tears in her eyes claps from the bleacher seating of a volleyball game, with a tripod set up to record the match on her phone.

Parenting and Lung Cancer

Last updated: April 2022

When people see me or pictures of me, they don't think, "That poor sick girl." They think, "Samantha, you can still work all day. You look fine. You got this." This is so much further from the truth.

Let me just go over how parenting with lung cancer has changed me. Maybe you can find a little light at the end of the tunnel, or not feel so bad for missing your child's softball/baseball game now and again. You are not a terrible parent.

Starting a new tradition to keep us connected

In fact, volleyball is my daughter's passion. I missed her entire sophomore year because I had a stroke and was busy relearning how to walk. This year, as a junior, I was so dedicated and she wanted a scholarship, that I went to every single game (except 1 for dr. in Atlanta).

Her father was busy, and I knew if she wanted a scholarship we would need recruitment videos. So, I got the tripod and I filmed the entire team the entire season. That way, any other parents could download highlights as well for their children. I've decided to make it a tradition that will be passed down.

Her best friend's mother and I are starting a website next year to upload them all. And we will pass it down to future parents with girls wanting to play volleyball. I was so proud of myself, sometimes driving 2-3 hours one way for a game. They did end up going to state but lost.

A sudden change of plans

Karley's father and I sat her down and told her that we would get her a recruiter but she had to be sure she wanted to play volleyball in college. They may get you a full ride but they are expensive. They put your clips together and edit, something I was extremely too busy with since my fiance, Paul, was away for a few months. And no, not in the big house. He was taking care of some things that were on the back burner for too long.

Of course, this was the very beginning of this school year. And she's also been dating the same boy since 8th grade or something. He had planned on a football scholarship and was already receiving offers from all over.

Suddenly, after the season this year, and the money I forked out for clips, she decided she wanted to focus more on her academics and volleyball would take up too much time. I was in awe. Fortunately, I was able to cover the agent from my father's estate.

Unfortunately, I was out of money because she changed her mind in one season.

Volleyball is my daughter's passion

Don't get me wrong. She loves volleyball. It is her passion. From the time she hit the beach and began playing with her dad at the age of 8, she hasn't stopped. She still goes and plays with him at the beach. Sometimes they enter tournaments in Florida. I'm glad that I didn't move back to Atlanta when we split up. I am so blessed that they've become so close. Not in the respect of telling him everything (that's me). But, they have fun together and he's a great dad. He always puts her first, we both do. But, if you could have seen us when we became parents and now have one that is finishing up her junior year in high school, you would be shocked. She's amazing and so much better than we were as kids!

She is an only child since I was diagnosed at 33. She was seven, now 17. One bad scan and things can get out of control. I am having pain in my right arm and neck area, but I'm waiting on my Pet scan because I'm so very tired of doctors. I even got MRSA this year and it feels like it's never-ending.

Children remember the love they recieve

Since I quit going to the doctor or hospital with every pain, she worries a little more. I kindly remind her that "the more I don't spend on doctors, the more you'll have to start a life in college". She is so faithful and never waivers. She understands we all have a time to live, and a time to go Home. I know she'll be sad, but it could happen to anyone at any time. So, it's important to give your children peace of mind that this isn't the end. It's the only way I can go on without my dad.

In summary, your children aren't going to remember the number of activities you did or games you went to. They will remember the love and hope you surround them with every day.

So don't think you're a bad parent. It's hard, but you're not alone.

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