Cancer and college decisions

<p>I'm sorry you're going through this. No experience, but I have an '09 friend who is going through this with dh.</p>

<p>Hello yesshecan!</p>

<p>I just found out yesterday that I may have a rare blood cancer. A bone marrow biopsy (not a procedure that was very much fun) should yield a "definite" diagnosis within a week or two. I have a son who will graduate from college in December (a semester early ...huzzah!), a daughter who is a high school senior (and will attend Baylor this fall), and a son who is currently a soph in high school.</p>

<p>My head is full of "cancer stuff" and I am spending an inordinate amount of time at the computer looking up information. I'm sure you know what I mean.</p>

<p>If it counts for anything, your post made me feel like I am not the only mom in this awful boat. There are probably lots more of us than we could ever imagine. Please know that you and all the other moms with cancer will be in my prayers daily. Thanks for helping me take my eyes off of myself and reminding me to think about the bigger picture.</p>

<p>Best wishes!</p>

<p>I am another mom who was diagnosed during my son's second year at college. There is no good time for the beast! But know you are not alone. I am not so full up with cancer stuff as I was during radiation etc. etc & so forth. Now I just take my daily pill and realize I am blessed to be here and changed forever. Big hugs to you all.</p>

<p>mom2011 -- Whoa, the transplants are a beast. I did lots of extensive research when I was diagnosed, as it was widely believed that a SCT/BMT was the only hope for a full cure. Are you home yet or still in/near the hospital?</p>

Are you still working through chemo or are you able to go on disability leave/work part time? I found that after a year and a half of ongoing daily chemo, I just couldn't work FT any longer -- I had nothing left for anyone, including myself, by the end of the day.</p>

<p>I am glad we are finding each other here for support and suggestions!</p>

<p>Jollybean, I was full of the cancer research stuff for a long, long time. Them S1 started looking at colleges, I found CC, and I started looking outward again. I found that the research was a very important part of the process -- to feel I had some control, if not over the disease, over what treatment options I'd consider. It was also how I grieved. Overseas, you are so right -- nothing is the same.</p>

<p>yesshecan...I was diagnosed with late stage cancer and given a 20% chance of making it. That was in early 2004 and after undergoing surgery and chemo, I have been cancer free!!! I have 3 was a soph in high school at the time, one in 8th grade and, my little guy was in 2nd grade. I am pleased to report that S#1 and S#2 are in great schools and are doing beautifully!! I was so worried about worried that they wouldn't be able to stay focused and live their lives...they are great guys and, even though I wouldn't wish cancer on anyone, they seem to have been able to deal with it. I stayed positive and didn't worry them unnecessarily. They knew what I was going through, but I tried my very best to stay in the moment with them even though I was crying in the shower wondering what would happen to my family.<br>
There are many wonderful stories and many of us beat the odds...I tend to want to deny it these days...just enjoy the moments and only worry if necessary.<br>
You can do it!! Your daughter can do it, too!!
Sending many positive thoughts and wishes your way. Be good to yourself.</p>

<p>Yours is a powerful and uplifting story, foto2gem! It's nice to hear people overcoming those odds.</p>

<p>I'm also a parent with cancer. It is not easy but it is doable.</p>

<p>Hi yesyoucan, prayers and hugs to you - I too am a parent with cancer. I was dx the day my 1st D applics. were due. Visiting the schools for accepted visit days was rough, but doable, we laughed alot at my slipping wig, never felt comfortable on tours with just my scarf, didn't want to draw attention. I remember we took a water taxi ride during the most windy of days. I held on with all my might we laughed so hard, the front was in the back, I had a part by my ear, Yikes - what a sight. </p>

<p>I tried to work out my treatment schedule with the onc. so I wouldn't have to travel right after chemo or shots. All but one trip. You just kind of do it. Even though I thought I wasn't going to make it, I never let my D know how bad I felt, it just worries them. My older D was lucky as her suitemates are wonderful and know about my cancer. They are very supportive and amazing.</p>

<p>D2 is now a senior, and because she was at home longer during my treatments than her older sister and saw me go through more surgeries, she worries alot more. She is my little nurse here. She's always afraid something is going to happen to me. I try to make our campus tours and visits like mini vacations for the two of us and make lots of great memories, we sightsee, and go out to a nice dinner, etc. We just enjoy the days and cherish all the great times, and never let worries dampen or ruin our time. I can't control the cancer or what it does to my body, but I won't let it control me or my spirit.</p>

<p>Sending you and your family warm healing thoughts. PM me if you ever need to talk.</p>


<p>Thamks all for sharing.
Jollybean-hang in there,the initial diagnosis is overwhelming and turns you around and around. my thoughts/prayers with you.
Overseas-Hope you continue with good course.
Coutingdown-just qualified for disability. Chemo and radiation, what a bear! I parcel out my energy, and hope for the best. Exhausting.
fotogem-Thanks for sharing your journey. It helps to hear someoone on the other side of this treatment. I believe someone has to wind up on the positive side of the stats. Hope I can get there too!
mom1213"I can't control the cancer or what it does to my body but I won't let it control me or my spirit" Agree! Thanks for the affirmation of life.
I know all of our children are impacted by this. For them to watch their parent reach for life, fight for life, while they are getting ready to leave to engage their futures, they need additional understanding and support. Sometimes I can do that, sometimes I rely on friends, family, or counselor. I find myself holding her closer then I might of had the cancer not been here, and I also find myself pulling others in more in case I am not here later on. It seems to be a dance I am just making up as I go along. By the way, my D is a pretty fantastic kiddo. She shows grace and maturity in the face of this beast, and I respect and love her dearly.</p>

<p>Just look at how this thread is opening up people! How wonderful and inspiring you all are!</p>

<p>I have fortunately not been through this but I have a family member who has gone through something similar. The two things you can offer your D no matter what are your ear and your encouragement. Even if your physical energy will not allow you to do some things, your avid interest in whatever she has on her mind is invaluable. Make sure she knows that you find the whole process of college selection/application exciting and want to share as much of it as possible with her. If she ends up going on college visits by herself, make sure she can keep you involved via cell phone/text/skype so you can "see", too. </p>

<p>I think often the most important help we can provide at college decision time is time, an open ear, and a sounding board. Sometimes in the "best of" circumstances, that is really heard to come by. Your illness forces you to be calmer and more focused and less distracted by more mundane things. </p>

<p>Don't think of it as your being limited in helping your D with this process. Think of it as being able to help her in a different, a perhaps even more valuable way.</p>

<p>Congratulations to all of you for dealing with what you're dealing with. </p>

<p>Survivor, welcome to CC. As you can see, we're a pretty great bunch.</p>

<p>Just stay away from the political threads and no one gets ornery.</p>



<p>Thanks VH but I'm not new. All my other posts were in the parents' cafe so they don't get counted in the totals.</p>

<p>^^^ amen to staying away from the political threads here!</p>

<p>I have to give heartfelt kudos to those of you dealing with cancer and parenting at this stage. It's very stressful to see our kids struggling with rejections and the unknown, but to couple that with dealing with chemo/radiation/surgery and your own hat is of to all of you for your courage and strength.</p>

<p>I had breast cancer the year my oldest D was applying for college. It was rough, but my husband was able to step in and take her to auditions, thank goodness. I helped with all other stuff (apps and what not). This was my second time around with it, so I think my D just realized that she had would rather listen to me then argue when I asked her to fill out apps and essays on time. I remember I wanted to have everything in by 10/31. She did it and thanked me for it later. Like I said, she had to go on auditions, but that came in February and my husband took her. She was accepted to all her schools except one. I forgot about the audition and she missed it. Things worked out. She is graduating in the spring and I am cancer free.</p>

<p>Not cancer, but a spouse now severely disabled with early-onset Alzheimers. I've been handling everything for many years. Our youngest will be applying to colleges next year. There are kids in our school who have lost parents over the last years, and several parents battling cancer now. Unfortunately, the club of parents dealing with severe illnesses is bigger than any of us would have expected. </p>

<p>I agree with the poster who said that our child's successes (and maturity) are the best up-lift we can get. I believe our kids can learn important life lessons from observing how we handle the bad times. Yes, there are good days and bad days.</p>

<p>I've found that there are a lot of people who will be happy to help if given a chance, including some very special guidance counselors and teachers. I've also learned that things can still work out ok even if I am unable to do everything for my kids the way I want. I think it's physically impossible to live in constant state of fear for ourselves and our kids, so we adjust. Eventually, we get through the storm to the rainbow. </p>

<p>I hope you have a support-system, and that each parent battling the monster (as a poster referred to cancer) wins their battle with flying colors!</p>

<p>As someone said 'This is a club that I never wanted to be in', but having cancer did bring out some wonderful moments. The amount of support that I got right here from parents on CC was very touching and helpful. Thank you all, again.</p>