Elephants And Tea - September 2019 - 22

Jen's Corner

HOW TO PARENT US

Parenting Young
Adults with Cancer

I

was sitting on the couch on Thursday night, with some of my siblings, awaiting
my parents and other siblings return from their weekly activity. My dad burst
through the front door and announced he had bought a brand-new car. My
ever-frugal dad, raising seven kids on a single-income, had just purchased a
brand new car. He'd driven a series of used cars, often to their very last legs.
He has never in his life purchased a new car. Yet there he was, telling me how all
the papers were signed, and I should go tomorrow afternoon and he'd arranged
for me to test drive it and pick out whatever color I wanted.
You see, this Thursday night happened to be during my first cancer. Curiously,
I noted that my dad was always buying me stuff. He is a very generous person,
but this was an extravagant purchase.
Bookmarks, stickers, bracelets, jewelry- every week there seemed to be something new he'd give me. But I realized that was his way of cancer dealing. He
couldn't do anything about the meds, so he'd buy everything he could to show
me he cared.
What I want to talk about in this post is parenting young adults with cancer.

22

ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
SEPTEMBER 2019

I don't have kids, and I can't imagine what
you parents must feel, but I've spoken to a lot
of parents, and seen their heart to try to save
their kids. I know a lot of parents read this
magazine. I'm so grateful you do. I'm grateful
you want the best for your child. But I'm sure
there's a lot your children want to tell you but
can't put into words right now, and don't want
to seem ungrateful. So, I'm going to attempt
to speak up for them in this post.
IT'S OK TO NOT BE OK.
This is the biggest thing I think I saw with my
own parents and see with others. Our lives have
all been disrupted beyond compare. We are
terrified, and lost, and lonely, and so, so afraid.
Our life, and yours, will never be the same.
But we need to deal with it. I know you want
us to be in a healthy emotional state and have
a positive attitude so we can face the chemo
head-on. But sometimes we need to wallow.
We need to despair for a bit.
Relapsing was one of the hardest things for
me. I was forced to drop out of college, and it
was honestly one of the worst times of my life.


http://www.elephantsandtea.com

Elephants And Tea - September 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Elephants And Tea - September 2019

Contents
Elephants And Tea - September 2019 - Cover1
Elephants And Tea - September 2019 - Cover2
Elephants And Tea - September 2019 - 1
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