I’ve been meaning to write this post for awhile now… A little while ago, I consulted those on the MM ACOR Listserv (my friends, my therapists, my teachers, and my doctors all in one neat, amazing package) on a topic titled “Don’t Rain On My Parade”. It was in regards to, well, basically how you are supposed to keep your head up knowing that you or someone you love so much has cancer. How do you avoid that dark, ominous cloud from following you wherever you go? As many times as I try to flip that “cloud” the bird and tell it “FUCK YOUUU!”, it always seems to be there. Some days are better than others, but there is never a moment where I don’t have the reality of our situation sitting at the back of my head. No matter how great the news, there is this constant black cloud above my head always reminding me of my mom’s condition. And even if my mom were declared to be in remission (KNOCK ON WOOD!!!), I think it would still be there, following me wherever I go. I don’t know if this is some sort of paranoia or anxiety issue, but what I DO know is that the carelessness and blissful ignorance, that sense of peace, we once had pre-diagnosis, is something I will probably never really be able to experience again.
What I discovered through their responses was that, yes, I would probably go on living with this cloud hovering above my head for as long as my mom has cancer. However, that is beside the point. For those of you struggling with this same issue, you must learn to adjust, adapt, and witness the world through a different perspective. NONE of us know what the future holds, and that applies to both those fighting the brave fight and those not. As one person put it (thank you Val from Texas), although Multiple Myeloma is considered “not curable”, life, by nature, is “not curable”. The fact of the matter is that we must not dwell on what is to happen in the future and instead, appreciate the present. In our society, we have been so conditioned to plan and prepare ourselves for the future. The decisions we make are solely based on the benefits that we will reap, or the consequences we will bear, further down the path. But what happens when someone tells you you have cancer? What happens when all your hopes, dreams, plans, and thoughts don’t, all of the sudden, extend into infinity anymore? What happens when you are forced to face the very reality of your own mortality? Well, along with a huge slap in the face, you learn to adjust and refocus. Planning for the future is not a luxury that we have anymore. But perhaps that is a blessing in disguise. Perhaps it is us being forced to finally learn to live in and appreciate the present, to smell the flowers and feel the warm glow of the sun on our skin. To pause and take notice. We cannot let ourselves dwell on the “Big C”, not if we are to have the peace that we so desperately seek. Simply put, there is no future to deal with. All we have is each moment, opportunities given to us to live our lives. That is all that is possible. We cannot cry thinking that we are dying. We must laugh knowing that we are living. These are facts that I still struggle to come to terms with, but they are works in progress. And that's all we can do right? At least try to appreciate what we have been given and lead a life that is as honest and sincere as possible, no?