Tip-toeing through a fragile eggshell mother-daughter relationship during Serena’s teen years wrenched my heart many times over. With conscious effort on both parts mother and daughter patched the humpty-dumpty bond back together again over a period of ten years. This mother was overjoyed but also learned through hard lessons in the past that no-matter how well meaning and loving we are, that there are boundaries that need to be kept. Daughters want their private space, especially now that they have reached adulthood.
The debate champion daughter is no longer obligated to listen to the mother who sometimes successfully made her points in the past by declaring “This is not a debate, I am the mother.” My soul fills with pride watching my brilliant daughter assert her independence. She is an activist and champions the cause of those who have been trampled by society. She reaches out with compassion and understanding. And yet, in the same breath she is so head-strong and stubborn. I’m frustrated to the core with needing to agree to disagree.
Now that Serena has been diagnosed the strain is even tighter. I do not disagree with her selections, but I want to be included in the decision making processes. My daughter chooses not to listen to me, not to include me on health care choices at this critical time even though I’m a nurse with thirty-four years experience. Thanks to HIPPA I am prevented from barging past the line in the sand either one of them has drawn. My daughter chooses her spouse to confide in and help her with her cancer treatments. She fiercely demands to be captain of her own ship.
During my nursing career I’ve always advocated strongly for patient rights to have a say in their care. But, it is painful when my own daughter rejects what I have to contribute. The caregiver in me wants to say – wait a minute! Instead I need to relegate the role of caregiver to others and as the mother respect her privacy. Perhaps in the future that situation may change, when will decide to ask for my help. For now I must be patient and wait for the request. I cannot push my wishes upon Serena. She is an intelligent, adult free-agent – not an underage child.
My passion for serving as Administrator of Writers Unite to Fight Cancer over the past couple of years has given me experience of immeasurable worth. Instead of being a typical single mom of an adult child who is diagnosed with cancer, I am informed and have a large established support network. As author of SAVE THE CHILD I’ve done much research on cancer, alternative health care, naturopathy, medical-legal ethics, cases in the news and so forth. Throughout my nursing career I’ve gain much experience and knowledge that can’t be found in a book or in Google search. I know more than the average non-health industry community members about these subjects. Still, I’m overwhelmed with the urge to know, do more and find hope for a cure of the brain tumor for my baby girl.
I understand my daughter’s desire to be autonomous. It’s a natural part of growing up and becoming independent. She lives a different lifestyle than I have. I am happy that she has the courage and to stand her ground in the face of challenges and opposition. Though I dearly want to protect her from the grief that may be associated with some her actions, she is past the stage that I can insist she hold my hand while crossing the road. As mature woman she has extended that guiding hand to others in her sphere of influence. I appreciate all the help she has given me with website creation and maintenance, instructions on blogging and social networking. She is a wonderful, kind and generous daughter.
At this time I will continue to pour my efforts into Writers Unite to Fight Cancer and to organize charitable fundraising efforts for my daughter’s cancer treatments as that is where she wants my help. I will be a supportive mother, and feel gratitude that my daughter is receiving medical care from excellent physicians who treat her with skill and empathy. I pray the knitting of the membranes of stay relationship will remain intact and the shell will stay whole. I am thankful for the generous outpouring of assistance and support from friends and family on all sides, and from people we never knew before and anonymous donors. As stated in SAVE THE CHILD: “Cancer is the enemy, Love is the Remedy.”