Just because you have breast cancer, this does not protect you from anything else life has to throw at you.
It does not mean you have had your fair share of strife and you are off the hook for more troubles and woes. Breast cancer does not give you a free pass.
Wow - I was pretty shocked when my friend told me this and horrified and outraged that she, in this vulnerable state was being faced with these realities.
Where were the kid gloves?
Where was the softly, softly approach?
Where were the kind, gentle reassurances I thought she needed?
But now I am glad, and I know she is too, that this was a message delivered to her early in her treatment. Because since then, life has thrown my friend a curve ball of massive proportions with way more than stage IIIC breast cancer.
It threw cancer at her mother and then her father.
It threw her the loss of her father
And now it has thrown her the break up of her marriage.
And she is surviving and thriving through each of these major life hurdles.
Yes. One challenge would have been enough.
But life is not fair. The tough stuff is not dealt out equally.
As Benjy (my eldest son) and I sat in the orthopedic surgeon's office last week and he told Benjy that he needed shoulder surgery very soon. Benjy and I burst into hysterics.
The Doc looked at us rather strangely as we explained between hiccuping laughter that there had not been a surgery in our house since my husband had brain surgery(for trigeminal neuralgia) just a year ago. That it was only 3 years since Benjy had, had 2 potentially life saving heart surgeries and a severe second degree burn on his foot.
We joked that at least a shoulder was not a major organ. We discussed the silver linings....that the incision would be small and he could have surgery in winter break. Whooppee! Wasn't he lucky? Wasn't it great that Benjy wouldn't have to miss college and that there was a clear solution for his shoulder that kept popping out of its joint... .......?
And then we walked out of the doctor's office having scheduled Benjy's surgery for January 3rd. He has a 5 week recuperation followed by intensive physical therapy.
And we shook our heads in disbelief.
We know it could be worse. We've been there, done that. Looking at shoulder surgery in isolation, it's not so bad. It's just his right shoulder after all( and Benjy's left handed-another silver lining). A ligament that needs attaching back to its bone.
But noone lives in a series of isolated, separate incidences. Life piles one thing on top of another.
And it is the relentlessness of that pile that sometimes seems too much to bear and unfair.
As I wage war with the insurance company (again) and spend time on the phone with the hospital and get all the forms and pre op checks in order (again), I realize that I am all too familiar with this. That although my expertise at managing surgeries is useful, it is not how I thought or would have chosen to spend the majority of the last four years.
It is also not how I want Benjy to spend his whole winter break. He is involved in so many activities at college, he hardly has time to sleep, never mind recuperate from a surgery. He has also spent more than enough time with docs and hospitals for himself and his Dad.
So, right now we are allowing ourselves to rail against the fact that we are dealing with yet another surgery and recovery. We are allowing ourselves to wallow a little, feel that life is unfair, that some people seem to sail through while we deal with yet another setback.
And when it comes to the surgery we will remind ourselves of the silver linings (see above) and that we are still not immune to whatever life throws at us next.
And, as ever, we will get up again, have a cup of tea and come out smiling in the end.
I'd love to hear your story and how you cope with the 'unfairness' of life. Please leave me a comment below or send me an email
P.S. Please send chocolate and humor a.s.a.p.
P.P.S.One more silver lining -Thanks Benj for providing me with a good story for this post. Much appreciated. Love Mom x :-))
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