Isn’t it interesting how a piece of news can set your life on a course like a river rushing around a bend? I received two pieces of news recently. An agent asked for a full on my middle grade manuscript. (Please comment below if you aren’t sure what that means.) So awesome. I was totally over the moon. But then on the day after I turned in that manuscript, I received the other piece of news—one that immediately colored everything.
Mom had called to tell me the results of her recent MRI after two biopsies. “It’s cancer,” she said.
Everything within me shuddered to a halt. Cancer has a way of doing that, doesn’t it? It takes on gigantic proportions like darkness covering the sky.
I totally lost it on the phone. Now, imagine telling someone you have cancer, and as a result, that person bursts into a flood of tears so hard, you’re the one who has to comfort him or her. That’s what Mom had to do. But that’s what parents do. Though they’re the ones with the problem, the parent genes kick in and they do what’s necessary to comfort their children.
I couldn’t help being reminded of a book I read many years ago—First, You Cry by Betty Rollin. In it, she discusses how she dealt with having cancer. Well, here’s my process. As the title says, first, you cry. Then you get angry. Then you cry some more. Then you pray. Then you get angry. Rinse. Repeat.
After Mom’s consultation with the oncologist, I learned that Mom has a rare form of cancer—sweat gland cancer. Which means surgery again (yep—been there done that) and possibly radiation or chemotherapy. By the way, this is Mom’s third bout of cancer. I’ll let that sink in. Amazing isn’t it?
When someone you love has cancer, you can’t help seeing that some things in life aren’t really worth dwelling on. Arguments over who said what. Popularity contests. Power plays. They’re just so much noise. So much wasted energy and time.
I’ve wasted so much time worrying over stuff that doesn’t matter in the long run. What matters is what I have now. I have a mom who is a fighter. She’ll do what it takes to win the battle over cancer. The dark cloud might be here. But in the distance, light glimmers.
Book cover from Goodreads. Cloud images from wallconvert.com and gatheredprayers.wordpress.com.