Thursday, October 2, 2008

Perspective on Problems

I have been catching up in the blogging world and after reading Lisa's blog, it reminded me of an experience that I had years ago. There is no doubt that as parents we would much rather suffer the hardship, pain, anguish, heartache, fear or afflictions ourselves rather than watch our children have to suffer through these things.

I am a 13 year breast cancer survivor. I have endured chemotherapy, radiation and a double mastectomy. My children were only 9 and 6 when I was diagnosed. I had the same fears as "The Frump" that I would leave my children without a mother to love and care for them. My cancer was rare and wild and I was given only a 40% chance of living.

My cancer was aggressive enough that it made me eligible to be able to have a bone marrow transplant. I live fairly near the City of Hope where this procedure would take place but I needed to have a consultation first. On the day of my consultation I walked into the lobby of the City of Hope and found the room to be fairly gruesome. There were many patients in various stages of their cancer. Some were extremely ill and slumped in wheelchairs. Some had masks over their faces. (As a cancer patient you are very susceptible to disease and need to be careful about being around other people that are sick) Some people had no hair, some were obviously wearing wigs, some had sickly looking hair and then there was me who just wore a scarf over my bald head.

I sat down and waited for the receptionist to call my name. As I looked around at the others who were experiencing the same disease that I was, a little girl caught my eye. She was about 9 years old and was wearing jeans and a baseball cap with a long blonde braid hanging out the back of her hat. There was something about the braid that I thought looked funny but couldn't really see anything obvious. She was with her mother and I remember thinking that I would never bring a child to a place like this because it was pretty scary for a child as young as her.

I continued to watch her and her mother and then starting really looking at the little girls' braid. It finally dawned on me that the reason why her braid looked strange was because it wasn't a braid of real hair, it was a braid made up of yarn. She was bald underneath her baseball cap and I realized with heartache that she wasn't there with her mom, but that her mom was there with her.

Immediately my heart overflowed with gratitude that it was me that was dealing with this disease and not one of my children. Parents that have to endure watching their children deal with life threatening diseases or debilitating situations have a guaranteed spot in heaven as far as I'm concerned. I can't think of too many worse things in this world.

My prayers go to Lisa and all others who are having to deal with scary health issues with their children.

Oh and I decided not to go ahead with the bone marrow transplant. But that's a story for another day.


Mechelle said...

I have tears in my eyes. I hope that little girl is a survivor also. Thank you for this touching post. My son is a 5 year survivor. We are hopeful that he will be able to live a long life. m

cookingsherri said...

Even though I have heard you tell that story before, I still got emotional. Sometimes a little perspective can be a very good thing to get us through a tough time.

McEwens said...

am with Sherri, I remeber you telling me when it happened.. it still makes me tear up.

Deb I hope you know how much I love you! I couldnt have asked or even hoped for a dearer friend and sister in law!

Too many many more years of cancer free health!

Lisa Loo said...

Here is yet another reason I am so grateful for the oppurtunity to know you! There you were--going through such a terrifying trial and yet in the midst of it you looked beyond yourself and saw anothers pain. You are an amazing woman--one of my new heroes! Thank you for your prayers and sweet words for our family.

da Bergs said...

Oh, Deb, this post made me think of Lacy... have you heard any news on her??!!!!!

I am soooooooooo grateful you are still here!!! We love you! You have been blessed and so have we!

Anonymous said... made me cry....:0 but that is ok! :) are a MIRACLE!

you need to submit that story to some magazine or something!!!

Frumpy Luv said...

I have thought too many times to count that I have been so grateful it was me with the tumey instead of child or husband - I just can't imagine what that would be like. Thanks for sharing all of this - we need to email!!!

LisAway said...

What an amazing story. I hope your body can keep up the fight. You are an inspiration. Especially in that you find a sort of comfort in the fact that you are the one going through it and not your children or other loved ones. That says a lot about you.

Redhoodoos said...

That is an amazing story. So glad you are here to tell it. I've been so fortunate that my children have all been healthy. You are such a strong person. Wise and strong. Thank you for sharing your story.

Jan said...

Oh my goodness Deb. I had no idea. You are such a wonderful example of courage and strength and compassion for life. I really respect you for all of all that you have endured.

I can only imagine the feelings that flooded your mind as you realized about that little girl. It was an amazing act of love to think of your kids not going through that and glad that it was you instead. That is love right there.

I can't wait to hear your story. It are stories like these that help others to cope with what they go through. You are wonderful.

Mother Goose said...

thank you for following, i am now a follower too! thank you for sharing such a sweet touching realization. Perspective! i was truly touched by the spirit of your message.

Mother Goose said...

what you r pam's sil??? HOW how did i not know this sooner? I know I instantly LOVE you!

Redhoodoos said...

I would really really love to go to lunch with you sometime!

~The Robin's Nest~ said...

Thank you for sharing your story. You are such an inspiration to me. You really are.
Thank you.

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