Lorraine's Letter

Dear Lorraine,

Silas has been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer; your world just turned upside down, leaving you crawling out of your skin and completely terrified. Lung cancer at 29; how does that happen? As Sy’s mom, you know there is an unwritten rule that you are the one who is supposed to make things better, and yet this is something that you cannot fix. You cannot take cancer from him—as much as you want to with every fiber of your being.

As you move through this new reality, try to remember a few things. At 29, Silas is an extremely independent young adult whose life changed the minute he was diagnosed. He went from a young man—returning to college, dating, socializing with friends, working and being very excited about his future—to a man fraught with anxiety, pain, fear and uncertainty.

As an adult he will want control over his medical decisions, and it is your job to support him.

Despite what others may say about caring for yourself, recognize that for you, taking care of your son is one of the highest forms of self-care that you can give yourself, because you want to spend as much time as possible with him.

Seize each moment he feels up for doing something outside of the house; do not put those things off as he may not feel well enough to do them again.

Remember, you will find the strength you need by watching your son continue to embrace life as well as by watching your daughters step up to provide care and comfort to their brother. Find ways to live in the moment with all of them; to love one another fiercely, to laugh and cry together and to hold each other up through it all.

With Love,

Me

Lorraine is a caregiver

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