No doubt in my mind…

It all changed yesterday. I had to turn myself off. A reboot, reset, update – whatever you want to call it – and get on with it already. I’ve spent the last several days doing a tremendously bad job of hiding my tears and repressing massive panic attacks. Of course, I’ve been trying my hardest not to have these meltdowns in front of Ben and Madeline. Fortunately, Ben has been “gaming” with his beloved cousin and Madeline has been swimming up a storm during this visit, so they’ve had little time to notice what I’m doing. My sister and dad, however, have not been so fortunate.

I know the frequency of my panic attacks have increased because of what I’ve recently learned about my Bean. I feel helpless, and – at times – hopeless, and I guess I felt somewhat safe within the confines of my dad’s house and with my children distracted… enough to allow myself to cry in an attempt to get it all out of my system. Now, I know I can’t release all of that – I mean, I haven’t found the “miracle cure” to let it all go or anything – but I’ve been better at managing my emotions in the past. However, this visit home has allowed me to be introspective. My phone hasn’t been working properly so I haven’t spent a lot of time using electronics as a coping mechanism. And I brought my coloring book with me so I could try to focus on that instead of allowing my breathing to elevate to proportions synonymous with a volcano explosion. But really, I’ve just spent a lot of time with my own thoughts.

I’ve been avoiding and distracting myself for so long that I kinda forgot how to think. Ugh. I’m not explaining this very well. Bear with me. Sometimes, all I do is think, but I think about all the wrong things. The “woulda, shoulda, coulda’s.” The ugly scenarios. The worry. The fear. So, during yesterday’s reboot, I was encouraged to change my thinking. So, here goes…

There’s no doubt in my mind that Ben will survive this.

This is what he needs to see from me. I don’t want him to look in my eyes and see the fear. I want him to look in my eyes and see a fierce dragon ready to kick the ass of whatever is trying to hurt him. I need him to garner strength from me so he can be ready, too. I want him to know he’s not fighting this alone. He’s not alone. Madeline’s not alone. I’m not alone.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Ben will survive this.

Watching him be tired and weak is temporary. It’s evident to me that this relapse is wearing heavily on him. All he’s wanted to do is play video games with his cousin, but even that seems to be wearing him out. I know he’s scared. I know he knows that I’m scared. He’s a very wise child and he can see right through me. I need him to see the impenetrable force of a brick wall when he looks at me. I’ve been so transparent with my fear, but the need to shift that to strength is imperative.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Ben will survive this.

Some of us tell our children that they can be anything they want to be when they grow up. Why can’t that translate to this situation? Ben, you are allowed to grow up. You are allowed to become a young man. You are allowed to get your driver’s license and go to college (or not) and fall in love (or not) and be whomever you wish to be….

There’s no doubt in my mind that Ben will survive this.

I had grand plans for this trip and it hasn’t turned out how I expected. At least, not for me. I knew that all Ben would want to do is hang out with his cousin and forget about what’s coming up in a couple of days. I was thinking that this would be an opportunity for everyone to come see him. I wanted him to feel the love that so many people have for him. But he’s simply not up for something like that. Everyone coming together was for me. Not for him. It’s not that he doesn’t love all the love, it’s simply because he’d be so overwhelmed and he’s already just so tired.

And I’m ashamed to admit – but I’m going to anyway because admitting I have a problem is the first step to recovery (so they say) – that this trip would be an opportunity for people to say goodbye.

My heart is racing just by typing that sentence. I can’t say that putting it out there has made me feel better, but there it is.

However, I’m replacing it with this:

There’s no doubt in my mind that Ben will survive this.

I’m sorry there’s no get-together today and I’m sorry that I hardly saw anyone on this trip. I really did have something else in mind. And I want every person in the world to meet Ben and Madeline because they are simply amazing children. I wanted them to feel the love they have surrounding them before heading into this next battle and I know so many of you were looking forward to finally meeting these amazing little people. But there’s no doubt in my mind that all of you understand.

Just like there’s no doubt in my mind that Ben will survive this.







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  1. There is not one doubt in my mind that Ben will survive this Sarah. There is also not a doubt in my mind that an army of supporters will be at your back sending prayers, love, good energy, positive thoughts and whatever else we can find to you.

    Remember this:

    “If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or Fight Like Hell.”

    Ignore the odds and percentages and keep fighting like hell.


  2. This post really got to me, I’m in the same boat with relapse taking away so much and experiencing these same feelings. We are not alone in this even though we’ve never met. I feel this pain and struggle with you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts-it helps!


  3. You know what? I think it IS ok for Ben and Maddie to see you fall the hell apart a little… you are teaching them that you can have TOTAL FAITH in the good outcome, but still be terrified of and dread the process. You’re teaching them that, even though you truly believe everything IS going to be ok, sometimes you get tired and scared and overwhelmed and just generally pissed. And that it is OK to feel that and for that to come out, and that you can surround yourself with others who will carry that shit for you, until you get to the GOOD ending you know is coming. And you are teaching them honesty – kids ALWAYS know when you’re putting up a front; so you’re being honest and they know that you will ALWAYS be there and strong and IT WILL BE OK, but sometimes it’s ok to just be fried out. You teach them that it’s ok to be human, even if you have no doubt in your heart of hearts. The three of you ARE AMAZING.


  4. I love the strength you have and the all mothers know the love they have for their children! Ben is one of the strongest little boys I know and he will fight for this! Love you all!


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