In the interests of full disclosure, I am NOT always upbeat, positive and perky. There are times…usually in the middle of the night…when I find myself thinking about this cancer and why it happened. It’s not a “Why me?” in the sense of “God, why are you picking on me?” thing…I don’t believe God had a thing to do with my getting cancer. It’s more a “What did I do or not do that caused this?”
I remember talking to a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer once. She was really beating herself up about it. “I should have eaten better. I should have exercised more. I should have been more careful not to allow myself to get all stressed about things, to get enough rest, etc. etc. etc.”
And I (wisely) said, “It’s not your fault. It just happened. Or if there were things that contributed to it, that was then, and this is now. Forget it. What you do from here on is all that matters.”
And I do believe that. EXCEPT when I wonder…Two rounds of cancer. Cheat me once, shame on you. Cheat me twice, shame on me. Is this because I smoked when I was younger? Is it because I don’t eat healthy enough? Is it because I allowed myself to go through some very stressful years at Cranberry? Is it because I didn’t exercise enough? Is it because when I first had a bit of trouble with acid reflux I didn’t get it checked out?
Judith Viorst in Necessary Losses says “we’d rather feel guilty than powerless”…Interesting. Would I rather feel guilty? Frankly, I’d rather feel powerless…Hey, it’s not my fault. There is nothing I could have done to prevent this. There is nothing I can do to change the outcome.
It’s a fine line I walk between “You screwed up, Mary and you need to fix this” and “There is nothing I did or can do”…Because I do believe the truth is somewhere in the middle. Whether or not I could have prevented this with healthier living through the years isn’t relevant (except to any young people reading this who might want to think about it) As I read once, “Don’t look back. You aren’t going that way.” Whether or not my visualization, prayer, positive attitude, exercise, meditation, healthy eating (apple crisp for breakfast?) etc. will determine the outcome… That remains to be seen.
I think what I really believe is that EVERYTHING counts…What we do, what we don’t do, what we think, what we believe…Everything is a piece of the pie. (You know the saying…If you think you can’t, you’re right. If you think your can, you’re right)And if I get well, I will have had a part in that healing (you will too with your prayers and energy and good thoughts) and if I don’t get well, I will have had a part in that too. But just a part. Because so much is beyond our understanding…
Enough said…I told you it’s not all fun and games. But it really is fun and games most of the time. I laugh a lot. I don’t “go there” much …wondering how I screwed up I mean…and when I’m there, I try to move on as soon as possible. It isn’t a good place for me to be.