It’s A Murky, Slimy Swamp

When your child stepIMG_4428s into the lab for a blood draw, you have two choices. Stay, which results in helping to hold them down for what they view as torture. Or leave the room and let the nurses handle it.

I never leave.

After the struggle, Justin hit me several times in anger over the betrayal. And I just let him.

You can judge me for that. And people do. Or we could take a minute to try and understand what it’s all really like.

Justin has been needle-stabbed literally hundreds of times. A six-year-old doesn’t grasp that pain can be for a good cause.

The child psychologist and social worker tell you that all the rules need to be the same. Achieving normalcy is the best thing for the childhood cancer patient.

Yeah, right.

There is nothing normal going on in his body, his mind, his emotions. Nothing normal at all. So I could pretend, and unfairly expect him to live up to standards which he can’t possibly.

Or I can meet him where he is.

A child with a learning disability needs to be accommodated. A child with a chronic illness does, too.

If Justin hits his brother over a toy, he is disciplined. If he hits me while practically blind with pain and rage, I ignore it.

Balance. I think so anyway.

Still muddling through the parenting a child with cancer thing. It’s a murky, slimy swamp. And I only hope in wisdom from God not to sink in it.

Justin’s blood counts are stable, and there’s a plan in place to hopefully manage recent side effects. Leaving for Give Kids the World, a Make-A-Wish Foundation resort in Kissimmee, Florida, in twelve days.

Yes, we have a countdown. Here’s a happier picture of Justin opening the wish packet. Grace be with you, my friends.



2 thoughts on “It’s A Murky, Slimy Swamp

  1. Why people would judge you during any part of this is beyond me. You are there for one reason in these moments, to make Justin feel loved and, as much as is possible, safe and secure. He is not acting out of defiance, he is acting out of confusion and pain and your response should be in line with that. You are teaching him a much more valuable lesson than “don’t hit”. You’re teaching him that in the worst of circumstances, you’re there to cast his cares (and maybe his fists) on and so is God…because God (and you) cares for him. This is the only important lesson he needs to learn in times like these. Praying for healing, strength, grace and peace!


  2. Letting her (in our case) drinks coke on demand because it’s all her taste buds enjoyed; watching hours of nonstop Disney channel because her brain was in emotional overload from chemo coursing through her; and yes staying in a room with five adults to hold one frail child for blood draws were never my fave thing. No judging here. You do what you can for as long as you can.


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