Saturday, March 12, 2011

When Reality Hits... hits hard.

Cancer has always confused me. Until now I have only been in close contact with one person who was invaded by the nasty disease: my Grand Father. For countless years he ignored the new information about the dangers of smoking, even when my baby sister had enough guts to throw out his brand new case of cigarettes...(although possibly amused, he was not pleased with that!) Then, sure enough, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. A year later, he was gone.

I will speak for myself here-- although I hate him not being around to see how we have all grown up, to hear his laugh, to watch Wheel of Fortune with him, and although I hate seeing my Dad and Aunts struggle with missing their father, and though I absolutely hated the few years where there was such a noticeable emptiness in my Grand Mom's face, I understood what happened.

I understood that he started smoking years before the dangers of cigarettes were publicly known. When the advertisements and warnings were beginning to be shared with the world it was too late, he was addicted.

Here is my point--- I can make myself understand why we lost Grand Dad. God knows I wish he was still around to share his words of wisdom (which were sometimes buried under bad jokes.. Or told at inappropriate times--"Don't ever let a man call you a bitch" was blurted out during a Dallas Cowboys game---And to this day, I will not respect a man who calls me a bitch (even if I do deserve it...Grand Dad shared no words of wisdom on that scenario.)

What I can not make myself understand is how so many people around me lately are being torn apart by cancer: a recently retired man just trying to enjoy his wife, gorgeous YOUNG mothers too sick to care for their babies, an intelligent, incredibly sweet woman in the prime of her life...How can I begin to wrap my head around this?

Of course I know there are children who never even make it this far into life, we should be lucky we have been able to experience as much as we have, but call me selfish, I want to be the 94 year old woman at the dinner party.

It blows my mind that we can be living in limbo, go for another test, boom: Stage 4 Melanoma.

I am not talking about myself heart is breaking for my friend Melanoma and the City. I know that she is a strong individual, and she definitely has a more positive outlook on all of this than I do, but I just want to hug her and tell her it is OK to be sad for a while, it is OK to cry because this SUCKS.

(Is this how you all feel when I pull the tough girl act?)

I know why she is being strong. Being strong, holding it together is the ONE thing we still have control over. Everything else is left up to our doctors and the cancer itself.

I know my friend has an awesome set of doctors who already have plans a, b, c, and d. How do I know that? Well, he told her so. When she kept repeating "OK" after being told her news, The Wizard (see, I told you she has an awesome oncologist!) snapped, " it is not OK!" I know in my heart that he is going to try to make it that way though...

This post was for me to vent, to let you into my heart break, and to politely remind you to take care of yourself. Stop thinking it can't happen to you.

And...please pray for my friend--for strength, for courage, and for good health.

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