This is a more heavy than usual Weekend Update.
I totally baited you with that adorable and wildly unflattering photo of my nephew scaling me on Mother’s Day in a failed effort to lick the ice cream cake we got for my mom. But it’s moments like that, that remind me why I need to be grateful.
I see an oncologist/hematologist twice a year, thereabouts. Last week was my most recent appointment. This appointment is a reminder of everything I have to be grateful for. I might have generally crappy health, a giant gut I can’t seem to take control of, and otherwise hate a lot of things about myself, sometimes (ok, a lot of times) buying things as a way to distract myself from overall self-loathing, but sitting in that waiting room and eventually, the treatment room, is, like I said, the most incredible reality check ever.
I’d liken the feeling to getting hit by a cinder block in the face. Jarring and painful and probably gonna leave a mark. Not so much up here, or down here, but right…about…here. Much like I am sure hearing “those words” is like. Except that’s probably like getting a whole wall’s worth of cinder blocks tossed at you.
As I sit in these rooms and see these people who truly need his help, and overhear diagnoses through the paper thin walls, that someone cannot get their chemo this time, or that chemo isn’t working anymore, that the PET scan showed more lesions…my insides swell with rage that I am a giant waste of this staff and this doctor’s incredibly precious time. These other people? They NEED HIM to save their lives or make their remaining days on earth more comfortable.
In the hour I am there every few months, I overhear more heartbreak than I can even fathom. I watch people from the funeral homes come in to sign off on death certificates and autopsies and watch the staff cry over the losses of patients that they fought hard to save. A family member we loved and lost this past November also saw this Dr. and his staff, and every time I go I am reminded that they did their best for her as well, and how much it sucks that by the time she got to them it was already well beyond help, and they just did what they could to give her as much time as she could to spend with my niece and nephew and her other grandkids. I am eternally grateful we got Hawaii last Summer.
I get in my car after that appointment with wells of tears in my eyes, thinking about how lucky I am, I have all of this….shit…in my house, in my purse, on my desks, in my life, all these people in my life, much of it I take it for granted so frequently. I see these people, some of them in there alone, all fighting so hard to not quit…and it pisses me right off at myself. But then…life moves on for me, then that rage fades away. And there is so much wrong with that that I get angry at myself again.
I have family fighting cancer, and, hopefully, this time winning for good, and I have family who have lost their battles with cancer. I should be a hell of a lot more “with it” and permanently grateful than I ever seem to be. I often get pissed at my husband when he points this fact out to me, but he’s right, and that’s likely why I get so pissed. It’s something on my list of “fix this” for this year. Knowing myself it’ll take more than just a year to fix.