Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Instead of Gratitude, I Felt Fear

 I started this arbitrary thing years ago. Whenever I’d even begin to get agitated over something stupid, I would suddenly stop myself and think, “What if I were dead? What IF God let me come back for this one single day? Would I have time to be agitated, hurt, or annoyed about much of anything?” Maybe not!

So yesterday, I was in bed, trying to go to sleep. But my back pulsed from my surgery to remove my cancerous vertebrae. The nausea was somewhat overpowering. And I had a new headache from last month’s radiation. Plus, I kept thinking how my two youngest are seeing counselors to deal with the fact that I have cancer—and how this makes me feel terrible they’re going through this too. It’s heart wrenching to answer some of their questions about death....

And my brain automatically went to the old thought that used to catapult me into gratitude: “What if I were dead? What IF God let me come back for this one single day?”

But death is too close right now, and gratefulness eluded me. Instead I started to think about those things that have always plagued humanity. What if I’m on the road to death right now? Yes, we all are, but I mean...maybe this is too fast. The Japanese bullet train...to death. Irrevocably sick at 37. 

There are two options for me. Like several doctors had said, I might only have two years to live—which means I’ll just get sicker and sicker, watching myself and my loved ones suffer, then I’ll die. 

Option two is that I’ll beat this: I’ve had dozens of people tell me that if anyone can overcome this, it’s me.

But in that moment, instead of feeling gratitude, I felt fear.

My husband came into the room then. He’s usually really loud and silly, but he knows how to be quiet and gentle too. He encircled me in his strong arms and just let me cry.

I knew I had to shake myself of this self-pity quickly. So as I cried, I started listing what I’m grateful for. I’m glad I’m still alive. I’m grateful that I even have people to worry about—people who would miss me if I’m gone. I’m grateful for snow and a beautiful view where I can see deer....

The list went on. 

And soon, I stopped crying. In fact, as my body continued aching, it wasn’t even a bad thing. That’s simply a sign that my body is fighting the cancer off. I fell asleep like that. And even though things could be better, I also realize they could be much worse. 

I better be grateful for what I have. Well, we all should be.

1 comment:

  1. Self pity happens to us all trying not to let it take hold and slap the handcuffs on tying it's self to us can be bloody hard to do just hang in there and keep trying, take it one day at a time