“How do you do it?”

“How do you do it?” This was  a question that I was asked many times when Amber was undergoing treatments. People meant well when they asked. Most really just didn’t know what to say. They wanted to know the story and how she was doing at that time. All of that was fine, even though as a severe introvert at the time, retelling the story was somewhat difficult for me. Every time someone talked to me about it, they all ended with, “How do you do it?”

The frustration in me built over time at that particular question. I am really not sure what answer people were looking for or if they just really didn’t expect an answer. I mean, how did they think I did it? How does anyone thing they will handle dealing with their child having cancer, losing a major body organ and having chemo when they seemed like they had been perfectly healthy? How do you work every hour you can knowing that you might have to be off for an extended period at any moment? How do you keep strong for you child when inside your heart is breaking for them? How do you answer people who continually ask you, “How do you do it?” The answer was and always will be, you do what you have to for your child. You don’t think about anything else, you just do what you have to do. Every day, every minute, every second, you do whatever you need to do to make sure that your child has everything they need to survive, all the while trying to make sure they enjoy life as much as they possible can.

People never intend to ask questions to make you feel uncomfortable. At least most don’t. They just realize what they are asking sometimes. When you are under that type of stress, it can sometimes be the little things like a repetitive question that wears you down the most. Maybe because I was such a shy person at that time it bothered me more. Not really sure, but I know that the only thing that has stayed in my memory about conversations with people who were not in the circle of family and friends that were a part of our daily battle with cancer is that one question, “How do you do it?” We did it the same way anyone who faced it would; we fought, we battled and we did what we had to do.


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