Raw • Empathy • Grace
Every parent's worst nightmare
Sarah Bachelder experienced every parent’s worst nightmare. At only two-and-a-half years old, her son, Liam, fell extremely ill. Soon, a heartbreaking diagnosis was delivered. Liam had a form of pediatric cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
With the world spinning around her, Sarah faced her son’s cancer diagnosis head-on. First, countless appointments, procedures and sleepless nights filled the next two-and-a-half years of their lives. Then, in addition to the pain and fear, Sarah was also caring for her second child who was a newborn. Eventually, her son’s leukemia entered into a maintenance period, and their lives started to take some form of normalcy.
A new set of problems
As life went back to “normal,” Sarah found anxiety and anger surfacing in ways she didn’t anticipate or welcome. Due to her son’s illness, Sarah spent most of her time indoors and away from other people. quickly, the seclusion took a toll on her emotional and mental well-being.
Suddenly, she started noticing feelings of resentment bubbling to the surface. Believing she needed to “manage” these emotions on her own, Sarah sat with her loneliness. Unfortunately, she learned that loneliness and bottling her emotions was not a good combination!
True relief came for Sarah when she made the decision to give herself grace.
She realized the importance of accepting herself as the mother she is – not the mother she always thought she’d be. After all, reality changes everything!
With practice, Sarah allowed herself to feel true, raw emotions. This self-awareness saved her. Additionally, the connection she found with other families in similar situations taught her the value of empathy. She learned to improve her communications skills and seize the opportunity to connect.
While her son’s cancer battle was terrifying and traumatic, the experience truly changed Sarah for the better.
Follow Sarah and her beautiful writing about “Daring Motherhood” on Instagram.
- It’s important to love the parent you are in this moment.
- We should empower our children to express their emotions and pain.
- Self-awareness can change any situation.
- We must allow ourselves to truly feel our emotions if we are hoping to make it through.
Generally speaking, Sarah supports all forms of outreach related to pediatric cancer. However, she specifically supports Kids Cancer Care based in Alberta, Canada. The organization focuses on meeting the needs of the whole family during the childhood cancer journey.
Kids cancer care provides outreach programs, research funding, and education for childhood cancer.
Sarah cuddles her son Liam, and his baby brother, while in the hospital.
Liam proudly poses for a photo on the last day of IV Chemotherapy.
Today, Liam is a healthy and happy 1st grader!
Sarah loves being Mom to her three sons and has a fourth little one on the way!
The work and words of Brené Brown were an important element in Sarah's journey towards grace. She was especially moved by Daring Greatly. All of us at The Brave Files Podcast also encourage you to read everything by Brené Brown. Her work is incredible.
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