Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Little Less Complaining

Somewhere in the deep crevices of my mind, I must have been entertaining dramatic scenes of reconciliation. Like in those tear jerker movies, where the woman lies on her death bed, gasping her last breath, and someone dear, lost long ago, charges into the room to look the dying woman in her eyes, to forgive, to share those final moments. I think I must have hoped that the specter of cancer, of what that word evokes, would have softened angry hearts. But it turns out that it was only my wishful thinking, yet again.

And the episode is already over. No dramatic moment. No climax. No forgiveness. Just a visit with the doctor this past Friday where he announced that the cells are only precancerous. A quick snip, snip, removal of the precancerous body parts on Monday. And now onto recovery.

The day after I found out that I didn't have cancer, I found myself in the bathroom bawling. And grumbling under my breath. Why was I upset, I found myself asking. It was real, this sense of disappointment. I found myself thinking about my sister. She, who was supposed to be there for me. And yet, it is only Jeff and a few of my friends who even knew about my possible diagnosis and my last two weeks spent trying to fight off worries of what if's.

I found myself rebuking myself in my head. The ridiculous idea of capitalizing on this impending doom. That I shouldn't just be grateful. That I should fail to appreciate the gravity of such an illness. I'm sure anyone with cancer would gladly swap his/her diagnosis with mine. I thought about this dad with stage 4 lung cancer, and how his post made me cry.

I thought about what it meant. That I would entertain the idea of inviting harm onto myself for a reconciliation with her. That idea seems shameful. And I thought about how people who find you only in your moments of impending doom. Are they any better than vultures?  Would I even want someone like that in my life, even if at the end?

Yesterday, after a day at the hospital, we arrived home after 5pm. The night was setting, the kids were tired, and I was heavily medicated. It took all of Jeff's patience to get the kids to stop whining and picking on each other, while I reclined in my seat trying not to move. Jeff helped me up the few steps to our house, and we trudged into the house.

As I was taking off my jacket, I heard Jeff say, "Wow. Look at all this!"

He was standing by the front door looking out to the front lawn. There, we found two bouquets of flowers, a bottle of beer, and a bag filled with home-made pulled pork, steamed corn, mac and cheese, bread, and a hand-made card from their 6 year old. The food was still warm.

I thought about my friend whose husband dropped off the food. They have three little ones, they live 40 minutes away from us, and they delivered the food in the middle of rush hour traffic. We have three more friends lined up to bring food for us this week. And I declined several others offers, knowing we'd never get around to eating everything. I also thought of my friend who brought me books, and several others who offered to watch our kids and to pick them up and drop them off from school and activities.

Jeff turned to me and said, "Look at all the friends you have. See! No more complaining about San Diego!"

No, no more complaining. Ot at least a little less.

I am grateful. For those who showed they care. Who took time out of their busy lives to prepare nourishment for me and my family. Who want us to be well. And for those who want me to share my life with them.


  1. I'm so glad that you are doing well, you're such a sweet, loving person.

  2. I want to thank those good people for surrounding you with love. xxx

  3. It's been a while. Would love to hear what you've been up to lately. I miss reading your blog!

    1. YP, thanks so much for the nudge. I needed it!