This post is for Rarasaur’s Prompt for the Promptless: Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining
Three years ago I didn’t feel well. I was exhausted.
Not unusual, I have a plethora of illnesses, many of which cause fatigue. But this was mono-like fatigue. I could hardly walk. I had a dream that I had cancer. But I suffered through until Dialysis Camp time, when I developed severe swelling in my lower legs. You could push in the skin and it would squish.
So I sludged off to the doctor and I told him I had cancer. Of course he said it was well down on the list of items and treated my swelling with some medications to remove fluid. But it didn’t help. So after several trips he asked me to see my GYN for a check up.
What I did not say to him all summer was that I had a hard area on my breast, like when I had a plugged duct while breastfeeding. And even though I am a nurse, and I felt like I had cancer (I was convinced it was lymphoma), and I had strange symptoms, and I had a hard area on my breast, I was so in denial that it never occurred to me that I had breast cancer. Of course my GYN felt it, and sent me right over for ultrasound. I thought, “Well this is good, I will find out what the hard area is.” Still no thought of cancer. After all, no one in my family had cancer and by golly I was 40 years old and who gets breast cancer that young?
The radiologist did something he said he had only done less then 5 times in his career. He told me I had cancer and he was calling my doctor right now. I didn’t cry until I got in the car. Then I just sobbed, called my mom, husband, boss and sobbed to each of them. I went home and sobbed.
Then something strange happened. I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude that I had insurance, lived in a country with great medical care, had a supportive job and family. The list went on and on.
This sense of gratitude continued through the ordeal of mastectomy, chemo, reconstruction and recovery. And I discovered that cancer also had moments of humor. During a high wind, my hat flew off and there I was, bald as a walnut. A man was driving by and almost crashed. His face was priceless. Of course some people would not have laughed. I thought it was hilarious!
I discovered that I am one tough cookie.
I discovered that gratitude and humor are created in the mind, independent from experience.
I discovered that God held me up when I just wanted to fall. I credit my attitude to Him. I became the consoler for others. I was strong when everyone else was scared. I told the funny stories to keep up the morale. I found the gratitude when gratitude was buried deep in the ground.
I discovered that time was precious.
I decided to fulfill a wish of mine to take voice lessons. I loved to sing, but let work and money and time hold it off to someday. It was so hard. A whole new way of thinking. I developed a deep respect for those who pursue vocal training. It truly is an art form.
I decided to start writing the poems that whirled in my head and write them down for my parents in a book for a Christmas present. After the book was completed, my husband suggested a blog at wordpress.
And I fell in love with a new hobby that has opened up my mind and heart to so many.
So where is my
silver gold lining?
It is in discovering that life needs to be lived NOW.
It is in discovering that attitude can beat out despair.
It is discovering that God gives a “peace that passes all understanding”