Why God?

I have so much to say and I don’t know where to start!! It has been a really difficult 4 years. After my son, Michael battled stage 4 cancer (Burkitts non Hodgkin lymphoma) and we basically lived in the hospital for 8 months, I thought the worst was behind us! Watching your child suffer in pain is unbearable for any parent. We never lost hope that Michael would get through it and get back to his life and he did!

The whole time Michael was sick he was so positive and strong….he laughed, danced and sang his way though his battle with cancer! He amazed me and taught me so much during that crazy time in our lives! He taught me how to take a horrible situation and turn it around and actually make it fun! He showed me how to live in the moment and be grateful for today!

After our lives returned to normalcy, I thought I had it all figured out, until I began having anxiety!! I was in CVS printing out pictures from Michael’s make a wish trip to Turks and Caicos and I started having an anxiety attack out of nowhere! I never suffered from anxiety but I knew what it was.

That’s the first time I realized that your body is so connected both mentally & physically. I was so calm and together the whole time Michael was sick. I saw him suffer through some very rough days, but how could I get upset and show my fears when he wasn’t. I couldn’t! However, your body never lets you escape it! One way or another it all catches up to you! You go into fight or flight mode during the traumatic time but then when things quiet down….BAM! There it is!

I went to a therapist and she told me I had PTSD and I think she was right! Living in a Pediatrician hospital for 8 months and watching your child get 10 rounds of intense chemo 16 hours a day 5 days in a row is not normal! Watching him be put to sleep 14 times to insert chemo into his spine was so traumatic! He had a huge wound from his surgery that wouldn’t heal and had to be connected to a wound vac for 4 months and have painful dressing changes 3 times a week! He suffered with migraines, nausea, mouth sores, diarrea, naropothy & so much more. I met many people whose children passed away and that is so so devastating! None of this is a normal way to live!

I went on anxiety meds for a while and talked out my fears with a therapist and felt so much better. I eventually went off the meds and stopped going to therapy and focused on being grateful! I truly loved my life! I had 3 healthy & wonderful children and a great marriage to the love of my life! We even bought a house down the shore which was a dream of ours forever! I was surrounded by the best friends and had a lot of fun spending time with everyone I loved!

My faith was so strong and I thanked God every day for my beautiful life! I felt I had a close personal relationship with my maker and I talked to him alot. I really tried to live my life by listening to what God wanted me to do and I did my best!

On August 12, 2017, I received the phone call that is every parents worst nightmare! My precious son, Andrew was dead! He was in a car accident a block from my home and was killed instantly! How could this be? I already put in my time with pain and I was just getting back to a normal life! I learned from it and lived the way I was supposed to!! I felt so betrayed by God! How could He let this happen to my son? Why would he do this to me and my family??

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My name is Melissa Shelly and I am a 46 year old mom who lives in Newtown Square, PA. I never thought of myself as mighty but when my 14 year old son, Michael was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer on August 18, 2014, everyone kept telling me how strong I was. Three years later on August 12, 2017, my 20 year old son, Andrew died instantly in a car accident. Again, people kept saying I was so strong and I actually hated when people would say that to me! I have heard 100 times “I could never do what you’re doing....if my child died I wouldn’t be able to function!”. That’s what I thought about myself until it was me! I didn’t ask to be handed these tragedies & painful traumatic events and I never felt I had a choice....I had to be a mighty leader!! I am a mother of three children and a wife to a wonderful man. We needed to survive and keep hope alive in our hearts! I wish I never had to be strong....but unfortunately we don’t control many things in our lives; however, we can control how we deal with them. It isn’t easy and I have some really bad days but I continue to work on healing and living my life with meaning and purpose. I want to share my pain and my successes with anyone who wants to walk beside me!

4 thoughts on “Why God?”

  1. Yes, Mighty Melissa, a beautiful life, a fabulous life then a funny and spunky child gets cancer. In an instant everything is different and a parent’s world is stopped.

    Everywhere in the hospital you looked daily at sick children and hopeful but anxious parents. Everyone hoping and praying, supporting one another. Some people become lifelong friends (like war buddies) because those of us who have lived with ill children in hospitals have a different (no need to explain) bond. We make our fun where we can find it: card games, board games, the computer. The days are long, the nights longed for.

    Children’s’ hospitals are so important because everything is geared for them. Your Michael must have been the most popular boy with his sparkle and charm. I know another mom who went to your DuPont and her child won the prize for sweet young girls.

    Because of my Katie’s age people thought she was a young mother herself but she was the child, just a big one! She got everything she wanted from the staff except longevity….Her battle went on for ten years. I miss her so.

    You barely took a breath, Mighty Melissa, when unexpectedly your other precious son was killed in a car accident. A perfect young man, handsome inside and out and good and honest in every way. What does this happen? Why do parents have to lose children? It goes against everything that feels normal. It is a heart assault and we parents are never the same.


    1. MJ,
      It’s so hard to understand. As mother’s our job is to keep our kids safe…..always! So unnatural for us to outlive them! So many questions and so little answers! I hope someday this will all make sense, but until then just keep living the best life possible! Helps to be surrounded by beautiful people like you!

      Liked by 1 person

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