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  • Maria Rosa Photography

Finding Happiness. A Mom of Pediatric Cancer Children.


This post is for anyone going through a really rough patch in their lives.

I think it is important to find the beauty in life as often as possible.

The last few years have been some of my family's most trying times to date.

We can't possibly know what's to come, the good or the bad.

Worrying too much, though, can steal today's happiness.

The good can be found if you just look hard enough. Sometimes that light is really buried in all the dark.

It gets hard to see.

It can take time to soak in a bit of life's light. You need to sift through the dark. Take a break in that cave sometimes and have a seat. It's tiring to live there, and sometimes you just need to sit down for a few minutes.

It can be a journey to get to the brightness.

Even letting in a small shimmer is beneficial and will build up over time.

If you keep ending up back there, it's worth keeping one eye open to the glow as soon as you can. Eventually, after a few visits, it might get easier to find your way through it.

Over time, maybe you will take less trips to that cave, and start remembering which directions to turn to feel that radiance.

Sometimes, in our roughest, most challenging moments, you might find you end up back there more often than you've had to bear. It might feel incredibly exhausting. It might feel like you are being buried.

A cloud.

The light is there, and if you acknowledge that it even exists, you will eventually find new avenues of seeking it.

Learn something from all that climbing you are doing - always so much to learn.

Any support you receive is wonderful and amazing, and that love you are given by others becomes some of that light.

It's incredible what helping others can do.

We must find the beauty, joy, love, in any given moment - to truly be happy - in the moment.

That's not always easy to do. It can take a several attempts. It's worth it. Over time, happiness will come again.

A lightbulb glowed brighter for me recently.

When I'm living in past moments, or only anticipating future moments to bring happiness - or when I spend too much time worrying about the future it all leaves too much room to be disappointed. It can leave my life feeling unfulfilled and empty.

Waiting on the future - when you'll be happier - thinner - have more money - have less stress - have better health - have more fun - sounds like it should be the perfect thing. When I've found myself waiting for that future, though, I'm gravely disappointed. I'm actually missing out on so much.

I want to think I always knew this, but with age and time, it's becoming clearer.

When I find ways to enjoy the NOW, I can enjoy and look forward to LATER that much MORE.

We owe it to our lives, and we owe it to the honor and respect of the lives of those we've LOVED, to make these moments matter - as often as we can - and find that love, joy or happiness.

I have good I can do now, and there is good I can feel in this world now.

Today. With this moment.

Changing, growing and learning happens all the time. It's awesome that a negative mindset that may emerge in you is NOT set in stone. Give yourself some time and some grace.

When life seems to push me, changing my thoughts helps.

There have been challenging times in my life, just as there may have been (or is right now) in yours.

This "you" I speak of here - it definitely really should read "me", and maybe it's really you, too.

Maybe sharing this can help you in some way in your journey.

If I can offer any help or encouragement or maybe try and lead you in a direction of a group who can help, please email me.

While your heart is still beating there is good to be done, to be had - love and happiness to be given and enjoyed.

Isn't that just everything?

While, this post is just my reflection on my own life, I hope it can help someone.

Let us not take our lives for granted.

A short summary of a few of the medical situations the past couple years in our family:

In June 2014, a week before she turned one year old, our daughter, Talia, was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor, a kidney cancer.

6 months of regular hospital visits and stays including surgery, removal of kidney, radiation, chemo, etc.

7 months later, in January 2015, a month before he turned 3, our youngest son, Anthony was diagnosed with GanglioNeuroblastoma cancer.

A few months of treatment including chemo, surgery to remove tumor and kidney, etc.

5 month later, in May 2015, Talia relapsed with Wilms metastasis to her brain.

10 months of treatment including, brain surgery, radiation, chemo, etc.

Talia will be looking to have a kidney transplant at some point in her future, and is taking some daily medication.

We are and will be dealing with other long term side effects of treatments, too, like puberty issues, infertility, etc.

2016 was cancer free for both of them.

They are incredibly happy today. March 2017.

In a future post, I will talk about ways to support someone you may know who's child has just been diagnosed with cancer.

(I should know, I had an amazing support system)

I'll soon be sharing about my favorite ways to help out in a world of childhood cancer.

Feel free to check out more about our family's personal battle with the monster in our Facebook community (that had become a big support system for us, and still is.)

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