Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"Maybe it's a tumor" -the kid from Kindergarten Cop

A dear friend of mine recently received some news that nobody wants to hear. She found out that she has a tumor in her left breast.

Before this occurred, her life was extremely close to perfect. I’m telling you, this girl is blessed. She has a fantastic job that pays well and makes her happy. She has fabulous friends and family who love her unconditionally. And then there is this amazing guy who makes her heart race and her knees weak. So this reality check isn’t ideal, but it's life. Life can be messy. And scary. And inconvenient.

Here’s the story: She went to the doctor because of sharp pain in her right breast and he ordered a sonogram. She wasn’t worried, just ready to figure out what was happening. The right side turned out to be just fine (what a relief), but the left side revealed a tumor that is in the very back and isn’t detectable by self-exam. She said that the sight of that black circle on the sonogram screen felt like taking a bullet. With the needle biopsy right around the corner, she is mentally preparing herself for a little pain and hopefully some good news.

How does that work? You go to bed one night, wake up the next morning, and poof – you have a tumor? Don’t you think you’d feel something growing inside your body the way a woman feels a baby growing or the way I felt my stomach growing when I ate cheese quesadillas at lunch?

I think we all want to feel “normal” and there’s nothing like a tumor or something similar to make you feel anything but. But what is “normal?” I guess it is the halfway point between what you want and what you can get. And she is trying to feel normal, and is trying to keep her mind off of it. But I know it’s got to be bothering the heck out of her.

But it isn’t like the movies. She didn’t crawl into bed and wallow in self-pity until some cheery person waltzes in, opens the curtains to bring in some sunshine, and orders her to get up and stop crying. When real people fall down in life, they get right back up and keep walking. So that’s what she did and will continue to do until this is all over.

She is full of hope, which can be hard to maintain sometimes. Is hope a drug we need to go off of? Or is it keeping us alive? There is no harm in believing. And her strong faith in God is going to carry her through this, no doubt.

So I told her ‘that which does not kill you makes you stronger’. I read that in my favorite magazine, Convenient Theories for You Monthly. And I'm sure it's true.

When Charles Dickens wrote "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," I believe he must have been dealing with something like my friend’s situation. Wonderful life with a curveball thrown in. But nothing she can’t handle.

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