Please don't treat me differently now that I have a serious diagnosis!
When my #family
learned that I have #leukemia
they got a little weird. They didn't even know how to tell me so they just let the #doctors
do it, but I think I would rather have heard it from them. Suddenly I was to them this #fragile
little porcelain doll that would break at the slightest bump in the road, and they didn't know how to treat me. My #twin
is closer to me than anyone on Earth, and even he fell silent and became distant. It was very confusing and hurtful
which was the last thing they intended. I think my #diagnosis
is as hard on them as it was on me! So, in the interest of sparing another family the pain I felt, here is a message to families with a loved one who is seriously ill.
When you don't know what to say, say something anyway.
Take the risk of hurting my feelings and be honest
. Include me in your #fear
, your #anger
, whether you're scared and angry at #cancer
, at whatever causes it, or even at #God
for letting me get leukemia. Spill it! I'd rather hear it from the people I love than from a stranger. #Cry
with me, get mad with me, #pray
with me, go ahead and be #scared
with me, but please don't hide from me to spare my feelings.
I'm as strong as you are. Maybe even stronger, since God doesn't throw more at His #children
than we can handle.
Let's come up with a plan TOGETHER
on how to deal with #serious-illness.**
It's not just the #medical
plan, it's how to #support
each other emotionally, how to deal with the financial changes, how to manage my #school
work now, my #spiritual
care, and in my case, new temporary living arrangements for some really intensive #treatment
at least early in this #fight
for my life and health. Let's make a plan, but include me
in the planning please!
It's okay to admit I might lose this fight.
Leukemia is not always
fatal anymore, but it still kills people, and it could kill me too now matter how well we fight it. I'm okay with being #mortal and don't expect to live forever anyway.
And if leukemia takes me before I have a chance to grow up, then I will have lived a happy life, knowing only love and childhood fun,
kills me before I grow up, then I won't ever have to deal with all that responsibility that worries grown ups so much, like keeping a job, paying a mortgage, saving for retirement, raising #kids
, and all that. Car crashes, hurricanes, earthquakes, accidents, and war kill kids all the time, every day. The difference for me, with leukemia, is that I have advance notice and time to prepare!
, isn't it? Maybe the real lesson is that we should all
be ready, since any of us could die at any time.
Why should I fight to live when death is inevitable anyway?
Is it really worth all the pain and losing my hair and whatever else? I mean, we're all going to die anyway so why? Help me answer that question together.
. Family, #church
, things I'm passionate about, what I want to be if I grow up, what is there to live for, and what message I want to send into the future
. And just because I'm a kid doesn't mean I haven't thought about this stuff.
If you don't have a church, find one!
For all their failings and faults, churches deal with the hard #questions
above, and with how to handle #death
. In my #faith
, there is #hope
even after death because my Lord #Jesus-Christ
defeated death, taking my place, satisfying God's justice for all my sin and wrong, and rising from the grave with me in Him
so that I have the promise of #resurrection
to everlasting life! But it's not just believing in something after
death, our church helps us deal with life
as well as death. Without the guidance and support of our church, my family and I would be facing this fight alone and without a real plan and without any hope or any reason to fight at all, except to live long enough to have more fun and make a lot of money and get a lot of stuff that you can't take with you, and then die anyway of old age.
Find a church.
My family isn't being weird anymore, now that I know what they knew and couldn't tell me. I have forgiven them for being weird and keeping this news from me for several days. Please don't do that to your family member or close friend who gets a serious or even a terminal diagnosis. Out and open and honest is always best. I won't break at bad news. Maybe that's because in the end, I have the ultimate good news, the #gospel of #Christ, that makes me victorious in the end no matter what.