what cancer stole

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When i was first diagnosed with cancer, Sierra was only 10 years old. The only time she had ever seen me in the hospital was when Lali was born. Her dad was no longer living with us and a new dad had entered the picture. It was very hard for her to accept this change even though her father was very active in her life. She had been our baby for 6 years before a new baby sister came into the picture. She suffered from middle child syndrome at a very early age. I don’t remember much about how I broke the news (about my cancer) to the girls back then, but I clearly remember a shift in all our lives. Sierras shift was the hardest to understand and process. Those years past me by so quick, that before I knew it, I was having a fist fight with my 14 year old daughter. I tried to hang on. Cancer does not discriminate and it also doesn't shield you from any reality. I was now in remission and everything between Sierra and I had grown so far apart, I could no longer grasp it. She seemed to be floating in another dimension even when she was 5 feet away. The look of innocence had her left her and her glances were filled with confusion and restlessness. She was angry at me and I was angrier at myself. I was never myself after cancer. I had become bitter and angry and dressed it up as bravery and courage.

I let her go. I listened to my mother plead with me, but I still let her go. 

Sierra moved to Las Vegas with her father. For many years, she had begged me to let her go live with him. She had always been closer to him and I knew she missed him. I knew that holidays and summers where not enough for her. She always returned home heartbroken and It made me so sad. I could not begin to fathom being so far away from her, but our relationship had gotten so bad, that I decided to let her go. I hoped that our relationship would mend and that she would return home.

Things seemed great and then she got pregnant.

Shit hit the fan. Not once, but twice. These times made me feel hopeless again. I was confused as to why another obstacle. Cancer would have sufficed. I was lost. This was one of my hardest times for me.  I remained isolated, with the exception of a few friends that listened. I tried to remain positive, but I couldn’t even begin to see the other side of this. I too, imagined something different for my daughter. Something I believed to be successful, less cruel and empowering. I begged Sierra to return home, but she didn't. Our relationship was still very rocky and we both knew it.  I had known the consequences of being young, confused and alone. I too believed that i would find solstice in my creations. But as quickly as those familiar thoughts ran through my body, they also escaped me. I knew absolutely nothing about what she was going through. In no way could I compare myself to her. I have never questioned my mothers time on earth. It never crossed my mind that I could lose my mother sooner than later, and surely not at the age of ten. Sierra had endured so much heartache that all this weighed heavy on me. I knew that none of this was her fault and yet she was the one suffering the most. I quickly moved passed the anger and tried to understand from a place of love. I took responsibility for my absence and she for her temper.

Cancer has taken not only time from me but also from my children. It stole a childhood that neither time nor I could never replace. Sierra was forced to view life under different spectacles. She was forced to combine and deal with feelings of death, adolescence and abandonment all at the same time. What I would give to turn back time. But it has been exactly that, that has contributed to our healing. Sierra is definitely not the same person anymore and neither am I. We have a better line of communication and are learning how to be better versions of ourselves everyday. 

Her son Kingston is now two and Peyton is one. They are my heart and the light in her life.