Cancer sucks. It sucks to watch someone you love deal with whatever form of cancer they have and watch them deal with fear, anger, pain and whatever else comes up. For those looking on, it sometimes feels like your hands have been tied up with invisible string; you feel restricted and stuck with wanting to do your own thing but wanting to be there 24/7 in case they need something. You try to stay positive and believe that everything will work out fine, but sometimes your mind goes in the opposite direction, so you start to feel guilty about your thoughts and you become more conscious of your facial expressions and behaviours around them. Sometimes you start to grieve them and the time you won’t have with them without even realising it. You feel like the world has stopped and everything becomes about the cancer. You even start to identify that person with cancer. And then, as soon as you tell people about it, they start to tell you about their uncle with cancer, or their neighbour with cancer, or their third cousin removed on their dad’s side who knew a kid with cancer. Which I generally don’t mind hearing about, but save me the “but they didn’t make it” stories. Great observation, people die from cancer. I know that, but I still don’t want to hear about it at the moment. But thanks for sharing.
But you know, the world doesn’t stop because someone has cancer. And today I had a moment about it. Actually, I’ve been having this moment for a few weeks now but today it hung around longer than usual. I’ve been feeling like there is something I should be doing but can’t figure it out. Not so much something that I forgot, but something that I’m meant to be doing ongoing. When I found out mum had breast cancer I was shocked and caught off guard; I felt like my world was crumbling, even though it had been caught early. But a few days later I had an interaction with someone that left me really disappointed and I remember thinking afterward “well, I guess the world doesn’t stop just because mum has breast cancer and I’m upset about it”. And that was when this ‘moment’ started to pop up; the world didn’t, and hasn’t stopped for us. Life goes on. Life just, goes on. And if life as I know it goes on, it means that life for others goes on, and their life may be a lot harder than mine. Life goes on. Again, the ‘I’m missing something’ moment.
I’ve always been reflective and lately I’ve gotten more reflective about life (illnesses tend to do that, we suddenly appreciate EVERYTHING more. Well some of us, my dad still complains about everything) I’m pretty blessed I think: I’ve got Jesus; my family and friends; health; a brain that occasionally functions at full capacity. Mind you, my brain and mouth need to connect a bit better but that’s a side issue. On the whole, my life is good. No so for everyone else. If we put aside the horrific persecution happening around the world to people at the moment, some people live lives that are heartbreaking. I was listening to a radio interview today in the car (if you’re sick of music about sex, drugs and the thug life, 103.2 fm is the way to go) and they were discussing poverty. Did you know that 19,000 children under the age of 5 die from preventable diseases every day? Every. Day. 19,000 kids. And that’s just kids. Don’t even get me started on the millions of people living on around $1 a day. I wouldn’t get far on $1 a day. I’ve lived on little money, and I still do on very little money, but as I sit in McDonalds drinking coffee and using their free wifi (well, why else would I have coffee here?) I don’t need to worry about how far $1 will get me.
And this is the moment I keep getting stuck in. It keeps popping up: I’m missing something and that’s what I’m trying to figure out. Life doesn’t stop for sickness, happiness, death, joy. It doesn’t stop when your heart is breaking so badly you can’t even take a breath. It doesn’t stop when you are so happy you feel like your face will split in half from smiling like giraffe for so long. There is still poverty in the world; there is still death; there is still people working night and day to find a cure for cancer. Life goes on. We get on with it. Sometimes with joy and purpose, sometimes just going through the motions. I don’t want to go through the motions. When I was at the hospital with mum I saw so many people going through the motions; nurses, patients, family members of patients. There was such a sense of desperation in some people and I remember a feeling of total helplessness. I did the only thing I could at that point, and that was to pray. Sometimes that’s all we can do. Sometimes we can do more. I want to do more, I’m just trying to figure out what. Trying to figure out what, how and where. Trying to work out how I can make a tiny part of the world a little better, even if it’s better for one person. Still stuck in a moment trying to work out how I support my mum while she goes through cancer; how I support my family through mums cancer journey and how I work out what the heck it is I’m missing.