Parenting during cancer is a challenge like no other. A lot of things take a back seat for a lot of reasons but children cannot. There were a few things that fell through the cracks caused by cancer, our daughters always came first.
We like to play games. Board games, video games, card games, you name it we like to play it. We have a game night about once a month. It used to be more frequent, but the girls are getting involved in more and more activities. We have a lot of fun with the games and have great conversations while playing them.
We like to watch movies, either in the theater or at home. We even have a large outdoor screen to have a drive in movie theater experience. We have movie night about once a month, maybe a little more often. It, too, used to be more frequent, the girls’ activities again. We always have great conversations after the movie, sometimes during them depending on how good the movie is.
I wasn’t much fun while in treatment. Games were more difficult for me to play. The medications caused a lot of mind fog, memory and attention issues. It was easier to play video games, but I often just watched them play and join in the conversation.
Watching movies was difficult, too. I tend to fall asleep during movies, even before cancer if the movie wasn’t very good. The girls were very kind and would stop the movie if I was the one who picked it out, or fill me in on the part I slept through some time later. I asked them once why they kept watching the movie and not go do something else more fun. They replied all at the same time that they just liked hanging out with me. Just spending time, being close was the important thing, not the movie.
Well, how do you keep a dry eye when your kids say something like that?
We all pile on the same couch under a couple of blankets to watch a movie on movie nights. Some of the games can get pretty cut throat, we don’t sit as close during those, but the silly ones, we are often in each other’s pockets. It’s nice just to be close to one another, together.
We genuinely like being together, bad movie, silly game, great movie, even better game, it was really just about being together. Even though cancer was a very different kind of adventure, we were going through it and getting through it together.