When the vital prognosis of my child with cancer is engaged

Pregnancy without alcohol or drugs, breastfed baby, vegetables from the kitchen garden… A simple life in a rural town, far from the tumult and pollution.

there you go. One day while changing my 14 month old daughter's diaper, I felt something hard in her abdomen. At the ultrasound machine, the diagnosis, announced standing in the corridor, is final.

“It's a tumor and not a small one… Well, good luck! Do not go home, the CHU is waiting for you. "

We make sure that our eldest son, who will soon be 3 years old, is in good hands and set off for the CHU. 48 hours will then pass, during which the shock is so violent that we speak little, listening carefully to the most probable hypotheses and the protocols considered by the medical team.

Because, in fact, the tumor is not small. Its volume of 800 ml burst the kidney. It has invaded the abdomen and comes in contact with most of the organs. She is estimated to weigh 1 kg, while our daughter is barely 10. When asked, "Will she be okay?" ", There's no answer. They cannot engage. Cancer has already made its place. We can no longer get Manon out of her hospital bed with bars, the risk is too great. No more baths, no more hugs in the arms.

Ad. State of shock. Why us ? Guilt. Search for a cause. We pass all these steps in a few days. They are the same for everyone. This is, in any case, what the leaflets placed on the dining room tables of the parents of hospitalized children say. We Christians are no exception. Family, loved ones, church people are calling and showing their support. I remember this lady who, to comfort me, announced to me:

"You know, we are also very tested, our 2 cars are broken down…".

Impossible not to smile today, but I never picked up when her number was displayed! The clumsiness of some people around them is actually part of the package delivered with the disease. We can only deal with it! There are also those who suspect that this disease is a condemnation, the consequence of a hidden sin or those who believe on the contrary that it is the seal of a great ministry to come. And if quite simply, God made it rain on the righteous as well as on the unjust.

And then the time came when we gradually straightened up and faced the terrible reality. Manon is ill and she may not survive it. I once left the parent-child room of the pediatric oncology department to go to the hospital chapel.

In this simple and uncluttered place, one or two verses from the Bible are hung. I would have liked them to encourage me but ultimately, no more than that. So I took my Bible and then I prayed inwardly, or rather, I sighed to God, for nothing intelligible could be expressed. I stayed there awhile undisturbed, and in his grace God spoke to me. Deep inside me, clearly, I received this word.

“I gave my son's life for your daughter to live. "

Another perspective of the cross was then offered to me, a new understanding, like a veil that falls. Suddenly, Jesus' sacrifice is life for life. It may come as a surprise, but I preferred to keep it all quiet. If I was wrong, if I had imagined this word myself and my child were to die, I would do more harm than good, by giving birth to vain hope in the hearts of those close to me. So I chose to keep quiet and keep this word. If it is true, it will come to pass.

It's a way someone else would have proclaimed, testified. Not me. And we have the right to experience things our way in these cases. There is no straightforward path for parents of sick children. Each one finds his own little by little, with the resources which he draws in him and around him. Sometimes the healing is there and other times it isn't. Whatever the outcome, the story continues and everyone writes it, as they can and at their own pace.

Two operations, cardio-respiratory arrest, resection of the diseased kidney, 36 chemos and 12 months later, remission was finally declared for Manon. Today she is a lively college student, athlete and artist.

Interview by HL

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