What I Learned From My Child’s Battle With Cancer

When your child’s life is on the line everything else pales in comparison.

by Les Friedman, Mikey’s Dad

When Mikey was diagnosed with cancer, our world as we knew it stopped. Life became doctor appointments, the side effects of chemo, and the ever-looming possibility of an unexpected hospital admission. Meanwhile, regular life also marched on and what we considered normal became something else entirely.

I learned a lot of lessons from fathering through Mikey’s cancer. What’s important and what is not became crystal clear to me and most significantly I learned to live one day at a time.

I can’t stress enough that when you’re in the middle of it all; the treatment, the doctors, the hospital visits, it’s hard not to think about next week, next month, next year. I remember sitting in the movie theatre watching the movie trailer. When it ended I thought to myself, “Will Mikey be alive to see this movie?” I was tomorrow focused which was allowing all the negative thoughts of what may or may not happen to cloud my thinking. So, I stopped thinking about the tomorrows. Instead, I focused on the day that we were in. Doing this made life better, I could think more clearly.  I could better deal with the day’s problems. I was able to direct my energy to something more productive. I lived the moment, every moment. This not only helped me to focus on getting through the day one moment at a time, but it also helped me to enjoy the good moments. If Mikey had a good day, I could appreciate it for what the day was.

My advice?  Savor the good days, dream for better tomorrows, but always live the day you are in moment to moment.