It hunts you from the day you heard that your child is qualified. It gets stronger at night and weaker during the day. It comes out from the shadow and whispers to your ear every time you look at your poor baby. “You could have done something better. You could have acted earlier. You could have been more inquisitive trying to think outside of the box, knowing that this sneeze was not just the flue but cancer.” The truth is you cannot fool your destiny. Sometimes you go for a medical check because of the bump on your head and it turns out to save your life but sometimes there are no signs until it is too late. Guilt knows that, but still wants your blood. In those moments logical thinking is the last friend you call. The last thing to think is “it is not your fault”. And that is why the sense of guilt will hunt you, like a demon, to get what is precious for you. Very precious but you still are willing to give it away for the peace of your mind…your soul.
First week was the worst. At first days we got hit in the head by the news itself and by all of those medical procedures that we watched, and helped by holding our child down, as he was trying to escape. But then there were those first nights. Not really giving us any rest but never racking, as we kept thinking what we could have done better to prevent this from happening.The first blame goes on yourself, then on your closest ones, then on captains, and at the end on anybody who saw your child but haven’t told you that he is so special. You start to look back in time and think that if you were more assertive in inquiring your suspicions you could have save him. Guilt targeted more M than me knowing that she is more vulnerable to its attacks. She was constantly fighting with the thought, that if she would just listen to her mother’s intuition telling her that there is something wrong with her son, he would have been diagnosed sooner, giving him much less chances to qualify. You finally get a different perspective to those long, not stopping fevers that Szymon had in last few weeks, and that they were not caused by infections. That the fact that he had issues with walking was not coincidental. And nothing can stop guilt from attacking you, nothing could chase it away. Even the fact, that he was seen by couple of captains in last month that did not see anything worrying is not really calming you. The fact that he was examined by one of the best u-sound expert who saw no signs of tumor is not bringing you any peace of mind. Your guilt will tell you that for sure they were looking in the wrong places. That those people for sure were not qualified enough to spot how special he was. Those were the days where night were very long for us and did not bring and relief.
Week was coming to an end. Szymon was feeling a bit better, we were doing all the preps for the chemo but did not start it yet. He was still spending more time in bed than moving around. At home he was always all over the place, we couldn’t stop him. At hospital he had no energy to do anything. When looking at him we already saw only the worst scenarios, that he will not need a full training before the flight. That he is so well qualified, that it could be only days, maybe weeks and they will come to us and tell that they are quitting the training as he is ready to fly now. To see your child leaving you slowly is the worst you can get as a parent. A corporal once told me that when children are heading for the flight they become silent, acting like somebody turned them off, while adults make as much noise as possible just to let everybody know that this is the day when their child is flying to heaven.
This was also one of those days when I told to myself “No! It cannot end this way. I will not rest until I do everything I can to prevent him from flying. And if I have to go to heaven myself to knock on their doors or windows just to tell them that he is staying here and they need to change their planes, I will do it!” This was the day when I realized I cannot change the past, but I can change the future. So even if that day comes, even if he qualifies and flies to heaven I can watch him go with clear conscience because I did all I could to keep him here.
This was the day when I looked in the Guilt’s eyes, took out the knife and wounded it severely. Now when it is coming back from time to time just to remind its existence, it is too weak to hurt me. Looking just like a beaten up dog that came for patting. This was the day when I told myself I will fight and not give up as this who I am and no situation will change that!