Coping skills

On June 8th 2011 an MRI revealed that my 4yr old son has multiple golf ball sized tumors on his brain. We immediately drove from Iowa to Memphis TN to St Judes. Lee had a crainiotomy on June 16th to remove 90% of one large tumor on his left temporal lobe and they drained a very large cyst in addition. After the pathology report came back he was diagnosed with stage I Pilocytic Astrocytoma. The remainder of his tumors are inoperable and they have scattered amongst his young fragile brain. He is currently receiving chemotherapy for the next 18 months. The 3 chemo drugs he is receiving are making him very sick and we are only 5 weeks into his therapy.

I feel so guilty for giving him these poisons, for putting him through surgery, and really for him having brain cancer. Repeatedly I have been told its not my fault and I need to change my views. It is so hard!! I pray often, try to think positive, and never let him see my weakness. The pain of watching my baby endure this is killing me!! I cant sleep, eat, or function. I take my anti-depressant meds and sleeping pills and still struggle with the daily emotions. How do you aquire better coping skills? How do I rid myself of this horrible guilt? How do I fully accept that my son has brain cancer? And when does the fear of him dying go away?


  • itismeuc
    itismeuc Member Posts: 9
    Lee is in my prayers
    I am so sorry to hear about your son. He is in my prayers and so is your family. I think the guilt is a thing that you just have to work through. Pray, pray and pray some more.
  • sadinholland
    sadinholland Member Posts: 248
    I am so so sorry you are
    I am so so sorry you are going through this with your 4 year old son. Things happen in life that we don't fully understand. Repeat the Serenity Prayer for strength. I will pray for you and your son. You have to do what you feel in your heart is right for your son. Lean on the Lord for your strength. Take care of yourself too. When my husband was dx on 7/2/10, I was devastated! Even though he is doing much better, there are times that I feel the same you as you. I often get on the computer on these support sites looking for answers. I'm forever wondering when it's going to come back, if it's going to be suddenly, if he is going to one day just have a huge seizure while out by himself. I know I can't let these thought consume me. We just have to pray and ask God to see us through this. We have to ask God and BELIEVE God. In order to take care of your son, you have to take care of yourself. God bless you and your son and I pray that he is healed from this terribe disease.
  • connsteele
    connsteele Member Posts: 232
    We have gone through this
    We have gone through this with our son. At first, things are crazy. Chaotic. But gradually, things do settle down to a "new normal." Not the same as before, but it does get more manageable.

    I strongly urge you, once things settle down, that you get involved in a support group. When our son was diagnosed at age 8 (he is now 34), we all got heavily involved in a local Candlelighters Support Group, for families dealing with childhood cancer. I made many close friends who were going through the same thing. Plus, our son made friends with other cancer kids. It helps to know you are not alone in all of this.

    I know the guilt you are feeling, but be assured, there is nothing you did to cause this. Sometimes, bad things happen to good people.

    Prayers for you and your son.
  • palmyrafan
    palmyrafan Member Posts: 396
    Your son
    I am so very sorry to hear about your son's brain cancer. My greatest wish is that no child should ever be stricken with cancer, but, we are not yet in a perfect world. Someday, we will be.

    When I underwent IMRT radiation therapy in 1996 at the Cleveland Clinic, we had to walk through the children's cancer section to get to the Radiation Department (they were during remodeling the entire unit at the time). Not once in the entire 6 weeks that I had to walk through those hallways did I ever see or hear a child crying. They always had smiles on their faces and they were truly a source of inspiration to my husband and myself.

    I'm a big Believer in God and that He gives us trials and tribulations for a reason. I also learned a long time ago to stop asking Him why? He knows the reason, and someday I will too. As for guilt? I have been plagued since 1994 (extensive brain surgery) with survivor's guilt. I was only given a 20% chance of living through surgery and yet here I am. I have lost friends who were given great odds of making it through surgery and having a complete recovery and yet they didn't survive surgery.

    If you haven't done so already, I would seek out the counsel of other parents who are going through the same thing. Talk to them and find out what keeps them going and so strong. Just having someone else to talk to and share things with who truly understands can help.

    You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.