Down day, coping and #ArmoringUp

I’m tired but today.. I couldn’t resist to write.. It is days like today I am reminded that Gabriel is one of my guardian angels.I am reminded I need Gabriel as much as he needs me.
9 months post transplant and I still have some days I am so rundown and I need rest. 
This morning was one of those tough mornings. I had a sore throat felt sick and needed to stay in bed.

Resting and active 3 year old normally don’t go hand-in-hand but it did today

I told Gabriel “Mami doesn’t feel well today so we are going to watch movies all day and “nuggle nuggle” —can you be a good boy for Mami so I can rest?

He said “Yes Mami” and began to his arms around me and started to sing “Rock a bye baby” to me and other lullabies. He said he was going to rock me to sleep and make me all better just like I do for him.

 I got choked up when he asked if we need to go to the hospital and I promised him I just needed sleep. He even got a wash cloth out and put it on my forehead… asked me if he could bring me a “nak” (snack) to help. I watched him i awe— how he took care of me at the age of 3 and didn’t ask to go to the pool or anything. He just snuggled with me and hugged me all day and at times It made me cry to see his beautiful unconditional love. These days remind me WHY I FIGHT and WHY I ARMOR UP.. He needs me. I am his world as much as he is mine.

I can’t imagine ever being away from him again. EVER.
 Of course, as I laid in bed and felt a minor arm pain or leg pain – my mind raced and fear of it coming back started creeping into my head.

What if ? Omg…. I can’t be away from him ever ever again. Arm pain was one of my warning signs. It was severe. This was minor. It can’t be. I hope this is nothing. All the thoughts that many cancer survivors have every time something seems out of place. It can be minor but we question it.

The wheels start spinning.

The anxiety starts going. 

It’s like a tailspin

The memories start to haunt you. 

In fact, last weekend my neighbors asked if Gabriel could spend the night. My heart sank. I didn’t want to be that mom and say no. I let him and came home and cried to Cesar “what if I get sick and I just lost a night with him.? “. It was a long night but I made it through. 

If you haven’t been impacted by cancer you might say “Move forward think of the road ahead.” I do. Most cancer survivors do look forward with total joy.. but fear is always in the back of your mind.
In a recent US News report.. the National Cancer Institute says “many patients, survivors and family members of children who battled cancer develop “cancer-related post-traumatic stress.” This great article posted by another survivor— my warrior friend Margie. The article and her post reminded me i’m not alone. I’m not so embarrassed about the anxiety. Many survivors I speak with DO have a form of cancer related PTSD. It may never go away but I suspect it will ease up over the years or we hope. How do you overcome it or move forward? It recommended counseling, a good support system, support groups and exercise. I have tried all of it. It has helped but I have days I struggle.  
What works best for me is #Armoring Up with my faith and also my exercise. ( I would be in the corner in tears without either one of them. )  

I hope others struggling find ways to cope as well.
 To my fellow survivors staying silent but also struggling, be open and ask for help. It’s just another way to #ArmorUp for LIFE® and overcome. Talk about it. 
To friends and family of survivors — reach out. 
 If you know a survivor reach out to him or her. Ask how he or she is doing? The fight doesn’t end with the last drip of chemo. There’s another journey that is just beginning. Reaching out to help would mean so much to a survivor as he or she struggles to find a “new normal” in a body that feels anything but. 

Next Friday I go back for yet another appointment.

I will keep everyone posted. xoxo



Loriana Hernandez

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