How a Mother Copes


Written on Sept. 17, 2003

“You’re son has Cancer!” There is no way to prepare for news of this magnitude. Those four words almost physically knock you down. First of all, you never expect to be the parent sitting opposite to a doctor as he explains to you that YOUR child has cancer. Secondly, you never imagine that your beautiful, healthy, baby who we brought home from the hospital, could attain such a terrible, ugly illness within. Lastly, Matt and I are just a regular couple. We’re an “All-American”, church going family with a house, child, and even rabbits in the backyard. This just doesn’t happen to regular people like us…..or so I thought.

Well, it did happen to us. I found out very soon after his diagnosis that it does happen to regular people. MSK (Memorial Sloan Kettering) is filled with families like ours. They are not all “American” yet they are families with beautiful, precious children just like mine. I don’t doubt that each and every one of those mothers thought the same way that I did prior to the day that their child was diagnosed with cancer. Once you hear that news, your life will never be the same again. Yet something inside tells you that you just have to go on. As far as how you cope and deal with this nightmare, well, every parent’s story is different…This is my story.

The day that Taylor was diagnosed, as well as the first couple of weeks following May 27, 2003, were the hardest days of my life thus far. I felt as though my heart was actually broken inside of me. Honestly, I had a hard time talking to God during those first two weeks or so. I didn’t know what to say. I wanted my healthy baby back. I wanted to know why.

Acceptance came soon after that. I felt I had no choice. It was either sink or swim. When your child is in trouble, you do everything you can to rescue them. Acceptance was the first step. From that point on I was in “fighting” mode. Everyday I would wake with the mindset, “We are going to get through this day no matter what.”

As I write this, my little boy is undergoing major surgery to remove the tumor from his body. I didn’t know how I would feel on this day…this day that I put my son’s life in the hands of these men and women in the operating room. But do you know what? This child’s in Gods hands! He has been all along and forever will be. And I feel a quiet peace in my heart. It is the same peace that has accompanied me since early June. This peace that can only come from one source…..God alone.

As a young child, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son (to die for our sins) that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. God loves me that much! He actually sent his son to die for me! He paid the price for my sins so that I can spend eternity with him in heaven. Even with everything I’m going through, I cannot imagine the pain that must have been. Not only for your son to die, but to die in someone else’s place. He did the same for you! If you’ve not made the choice to put your faith in Christ, I assure you, it’s the most important decision you’ll ever make!

How does a mother cope? I take each day one at a time. I live for the hope God has granted me. I survive with the strength He gives me daily. And I rest assured that even in times of trial and tragedy such as this, God is always faithful! He will carry us through life’s storms, always reminding us that storms are passing.

A great website on salvation is

Jennifer Marmet