Christmas after chemo: Going back to normal is not easy
I still, and will never stop, feeling so lucky and thankful that Vega has finished her cancer treatment. That first Christmas, chemo-free, will stay in my memory forever. A Christmas with no waiting in hospital or having tests; a Christmas not spent struggling to remember it was Christmas.
But very quickly after treatment ends, the support systems we had relied on seemed to vanish. The message was clear: Vega is better. You are normal. Everything is normal. Go back to normal. But the impact of cancer on a family is not only felt whilst a child is receiving treatment – it lingers for many more years afterwards.
Going back to normal is not easy. There are the side effects from toxic treatments, the psychological trauma on the child, and there is the remaining, unrelenting fear in us parents, jumping to the worst conclusions at the smallest sign of illness.