Intellectually I know Sadie’s diagnosis has nothing to do with our parenting. Call it self-doubt, parental guilt or plain narcissism but I do wonder what caused this cancer. I’m not an overly spiritual person so blaming God never crossed my mind but I did have other thoughts that crossed my mind. Was it the genes we passed on to her? Was it from when Garrett dropped her on her head when she was a toddler (yes, yes he did)? Was it from when I forced her to take ballet when she hated it? Was it the concussion in hockey? Was it the root canal she had a couple years ago? Was it the kid who exposed her to the EB virus (Hodgkin’s has been linked to the same virus that caused mono)? Was it the stress of going away to University? Was it the chemicals in the food, the water, the air, the everything?
You see we always thought we provided a healthy environment for the kids. More organic food than non-organic, appropriate health and dental care, quality child care, discipline and love. I like to think our kids are all fairly well adjusted, not perfect but still productive members of society. So what went wrong that our strong-willed, overly social 19-year old daughter has cancer?
Does it matter? Really, does it? Finding out what caused it doesn’t change the fact that she has cancer. Some psychologist somewhere will probably say it’s normal for a person to place blame. It doesn’t seem to be overly helpful to do so though. Now we just need to deal. Easier said than done. You would not know by seeing or talking to Sadie that she is sick. She gets tired easily and naps a lot, but what teenager doesn't when they spend their nights on Netflix or snap chatting friends?
So how to deal? Making a decision on her treatment path has been the most difficult thing I have ever had to do. I am terrified of making the wrong decision. I think it will be much easier to deal once we get moving with whatever treatment plan we decide on.