I’m a brand new blogger, not super tech-savvy, but eager to connect with readers. I guess you could say I’m desperate. Desperate for even one reader on my new blog http://www.lovecommacancer.com. I’m not sure how to tag or categorize to optimize potential readership. Yes, I’ve read a few articles, but mostly I just want someone to do it for me. I like the writing part, but the optimizing part is making me feel more frustrated than inspired and who wants to read a blogger’s frustrated tone in what was supposed to be an inspirational blog about living with cancer? So anyway, that’s a long intro to my first attempt to blog on the “topic of the day” or whatever they call it. At my church (PCUSA), we call it “this week’s lectionary reading”, at least I think that’s what we call it (says the life-long Presbyterian who is known for staying in her pjs while her husband, yes, her husband the one who had cancer, dutifully attends every week with the kids). It’s the scripture that all the churches read the same week–and are encouraged to base their sermon on. My favorite part is when our minister says “Today’s lectionary reading is from Leviticus, you know, the bit about not wearing cotton or plucking your nose hairs*, or something equally inane…” so I decided we’ll read something instead from the jolly book of Matthew about Jesus when he was a cute baby (who doesn’t want to read more about that?)!
Oh, but anyway, back to Today’s Daily Prompt–“Fortune”. Following the lead of my minister, I’ve decided instead to talk about “Luck versus Fortune versus Blessed”. Are you lucky or are you fortunate? Are you fortunate or are you blessed? If you believe you can be blessed, can you also believe you’re lucky? Or fortunate? And does it matter? Well, I’m not sure it matters that much, but I know some people who seem to think if you say “I feel so lucky”, they need to somehow slip in a correction and remind you you’re actually blessed. Sometimes it feels to me a little like the difference between saying Happy Holidays versus Merry Christmas or Happy Chanukah or Happy Kwanza, except I think that one actually does matter. As my 12 year said last night at dinner “Why would you want to wish a Jewish or Muslim person a Merry Christmas if they don’t even celebrate it?” Exactly. So back to the fortune prompt. I know nothing for sure except this:
1-My husband was diagnosed with small bowel cancer in July of 2015. It felt decidedly unfortunate and maybe even unlucky, but I still felt blessed. Blessed because our friends and family rallied ’round us and because we happened upon a fantastic oncologist, and because we have medical insurance, and because we have flexible jobs, and because we live near hospitals and because we own a car and live near a metro, and because we are never hungry for food and because there are lots of good wine shops in our little city. LOL. I wanna’ say that last one pales in comparison, but I might not be telling the truth. Or I might. Not sure.
2-My husband has already beaten the “odds”. The odds were stacked against him. WAY against him. Some people realized that, others did not, but we knew where we stood and let me tell you I feel fortunate that we have made it to December 2016 intact as a family with everyone feeling fortunate, blessed and perhaps lucky to be able to spend time together once again. We feel hopeful for the future albeit with a slightly cautious optimism. A year ago that optimism was way more cautious, so we feel fortunate for the decrease in cautious optimism or the increase in optimism. It depends on if you are a glass half empty or a glass half full kind of gal. (or guy).(I’ve been accused of being both!) (the glass part, not the gal/guy part–not that there’s anything wrong with being gender fluid!)
3- Our family and friends gathered around us, encircling us with love and support when we needed it most. Nobody’s perfect, and some people did say “the darnedest” things** but we cut them some slack because they didn’t ask to be the friend of a cancer patient, but they went along with it and tried to say something supportive and it just came out funny. I’m gonna go with BLESSED on this one. We were blessed by wonderful friends and family. I’m starting to think maybe blessed encompasses both fortune and luck.
4-We will get through this together. Notice I said “we” and “this” and then try to think of what I mean. I’ll give you some hints. “We” are family (you know, like in the song). We work together in different ways, with different personalities, styles and attitudes, but we will work towards “this”- a common goal. For my family, “this” has been beating cancer. and living life to its fullest. Dreaming of better days to come, while capturing the brightness of each moment that comes our way in the meantime. Maybe you don’t have to deal with cancer (lucky you) (scratch that–fortunate you) (I mean, boy are you blessed!). So anyway, no cancer battle, but maybe, just maybe, you’ve had some little problems creep into your life. Maybe it’s not cancer, but let me guess these problems are holding you back in some way, keeping you from living the life you want to live, whatever that is. Find your “we”, gather them ’round you and sit by the fire, in front of the tree, sip some hot cocoa and stroke your pet, breathing in the love that is available to you in the form of friends–also known as angels on earth. Count your blessings. Soak in your good fortune. Acknowledge your luck in being born into this life where you aren’t fighting for your next morsel of food, where you can walk freely in the streets, where you aren’t sleeping on a grate over the metro with a single blanket to keep you warm, and say thank you to God or to the Universe for your good fortune, blessings and luck.
I think I’ve muddied the waters here more than making clear the boundaries between fortune and its cousin words. I’m not surprised at myself. I’ve always been a grey area gal who routinely bombed multiple choice tests because I could always envision why a), b) and c) could all be right. I mean, really, if the test-makers just thought through their questions a little more carefully, they, too, could see the endless possibilities! Sisters, cousins, friends–all with good intentions and slightly different ways of approaching life. But all good. Choose d) All of the Above. Life is good. Even with cancer.
And now, I’ll leave your with a generic but truly heartfelt Happy Holidays to all on this Winter Solstice day, no less!
(Placeholder for when I think of something truly inspirational to say about blessings and love and hope and good fortune that will bring readers in droves to my as yet unseen by anyone but me blog about living with cancer)
*doubt it says that anywhere, but you never know with Leviticus
** these people shall remain nameless and dear to my heart b/c they actually provided us with some good laughs! “Can you believe he said THAT?”
(Above: Celebrating with a dear friend. Don’t take your friends for granted. They are life’s greatest blessings!)