It was hard to focus on these blessings this weekend. My family received news on Thursday that would change everything.
My brother, who has recently had a GIST removed from his upper stomach, is now home and recovering well from the trauma of the last few weeks, and the subsequent surgery.
Our hope lay in the faith that the tumor could be easily removed (it was), and was contained to the stomach wall (it was), and lastly, that it did not show malignancy (....it did). This means that he high risk for tumor recurrence. He will require chemo therapy for this extremely rare form of cancer - 0.006 in 1 million people are affected by this....and of those people, they are usually older people, not young guys like my brother.
28 years old. Married 2 months. How the fuck is this fair?
Life is not fucking fair. I am mad at life right now. I'm angry for so many reasons. But, during all these, I have an undeniable seed of hope in my stomach that has somehow managed to replace the seed of fear. Or, at the very least, is starting to overshadow it. However, that doesn't mean that I didn't spend at least an hour on Saturday crying in the Chinese Cemetery, while I processed everything. I needed to do this, and I came away feeling lighter.
I wrote my brother a long letter, expressing my hope and my belief that this will not be the thing that defines his life. He will survive, and he will grow stronger from this experience. And I do believe these things, with all my heart.
I just wish it wasn't a reality he has to live with for the next 5 years, which by the way, is how they calculate survival rates. I wish he wasn't going to have to live with drug therapy, or the fear that something may show up on what will become a routine scan. I wish he wasn't worried about dying in a year, two years, three years, five years.....he shouldn't have to be thinking about his demise at age 28.
So, as much as I acknowledged the blessings this beautiful October weekend bestowed upon us, I found it hard to be fully grateful for this life. Part of me wanted to curse God for sarcoidosis, Crohn's disease, infertility, and cancer. Part of me wanted to scream at the sky 'WHY US?!". Part of me wanted to quit my job, and move to Costa Rica and forgo the trappings of the first world.
But the larger part of me found peace. I did this by spending a fair amount of time by myself, digesting this new life development, and realizing that we'll just lay it on top of what we already deal with on a day to day basis. We will deal. He will deal. And we will deal with grace, love, humor, and togetherness. Because that's all you can do in times like these.
|Where I do my best thinking. And, incidentally, crying.|
I'm thankful that this has caused me to examine my life. It's time to make some changes about how I live my own life, because Lord knows how long any of us have on this planet. I want to live without regrets. I want more from this life. Little shifts, small winds of change. I see you.
|I found peace on this day.|