Nothing is Impossible

If you say never then there is no room for maybe. -me

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bad luck!?!

This was written shortly before my surgery to remove my brain tumors on November 4th, 2011:

As the week has gone on I have found myself contemplating "why?"

Why has this happened to me? Was it all those times as a kid that I anxiously watched my cheese melt through the microwave glass? Was it those large power lines I lived by growing up that my mom once told me caused leukemia? (I don't have leukemia btw.) Could it be a result of all those chemicals I inhaled during the years I smoked? Or even those times I experimented with alcohol at way too young of an age? (Incidentally, I pray none of my children will do the same.) Or what about cell phones, seriously though I've never been much of a phone talker.

When one is faced with a life threatening disease, or in my case the possibility of cancer, one can't help but wonder if it is their own fault.

Did I do this to myself?

When I met with the neuro-surgeon and neuro-oncologist, I asked what could have caused this. I asked point blank if I gave myself these tumors. Are they a result of my miss guided youth? To which they both replied with a resounding "NO!"
"Yes," one said "there is a lot of debate about what causes cancer, and yes we know some things do." But in my case, they said, "it is simply bad luck!"

Bad Luck!!!! Really?

"Bad luck, what kind of sick joke is this?," I thought to myself. We went on discussing choices, surgery and risks and advantages, and later as my husband and I drove home I began remembering that yes, I have sometimes felt as though I have bad luck.

Throughout my life I think I have only ever won game of bingo once. Seriously, even when playing with my own kids. I always seem to pick the worst bingo card. And I'm always the last one to get a blackout.

And then once when I was 9 I went to a Spanish Camp over the summer. On the last day they had a raffle. And all the kids were winning these really cool little battery operated lanterns. Every one was eventually picked from the raffle bowl. Even me, however I was the very last one. Really , the very last one! And by the time they got to me, and the kid before me, the lanterns were all gone. So the people in charge gave us each one pass to Layton Surf 'n' Swim instead. Great, except for the fact that I lived 30 minutes from Layton, I only had one pass and I never had an opportunity to use it. And from a child's standpoint, all the other kids got a really cool toy, and all I got was a 1 x 1 square piece of paper to some place I had never been. I was disappointed and feeling a little jilted to say the least. And then when I told my mom about it she supported my feelings by ranting about how stupid that was, we lived so far away from there and when was she going to find the time to take me? And if she did, she would have to pay for who ever else went with me. It wasn't practical to her and why in the heck would they only have enough lanterns for every kid except two? I agreed, especially because I really wanted that lantern!

And then there was this one year that I desperately wanted this metal detector for my birthday. I found it at the toy store but my birthday was a month away. I begged my mom to buy it for me now and I would pay her back with my birthday money. But she refused because it was too early. I argued that it might no be there by the time we came back, but my mom flat out said no. I hoped and hoped that it would still be there for my birthday. So when a month passed I excitedly went to the toy store and guess what, I couldn't find it anywhere. I was right, it was gone. I was so disappointed and angry at my mom for not listening to me. So again my "luck" ran dry.

So being told it's just bad luck? I hate to be so trendy but, WTF!?! Can getting a brain tumor fall in the category of bad luck? It's not like I was born on the 13th or something, I haven't come across any black cats lately, or really ever that I can remember, and there are no horseshoes hanging upside down in my home. I've thought in the past that I do have bad luck, but really was it THAT BAD? How can this be chalked up to bad luck? I just couldn't accept that!

But then I realized, I don't believe in luck, instead I believe in myself and my ability to take what ever life throws at me and make the best out of it. I've learned how to find the positive in any situation, even though it's very hard sometimes. And I also realized that not only do I believe in myself, but I also believe in God! I know why I was sent to earth. Why I have a body, and why stuff, even tough stuff, happens to me.

Life is like boarding school.

We leave home and travel far away to learn. And so these tumors, the possibility of cancer, it's just another test. Another study session and exam to further prepare me to return home. Knowing this has helped tremendously. It has given me more reason to fight and take this challenge on instead of rolling over and crying "poor me."

To know that I will learn from this, despite the outcome and that others might also learn from it will make it worthwhile. And someday, as weird as it sounds, I will be thankful for this OPPORTUNITY!

And as it turns out I remember getting a battery operated lantern for Christmas, as did my sisters. Santa must have known! And then I did end up getting a metal detector another Christmas, which it years later found my car keys that had been thrown into a large prickly bush. And to be honest, I usually throw my game of bingo so that my kids can win. And that one time I actually did win bingo, I'm pretty sure the prize was really awesome. Something like a giant bag of candy. And a giant bag of candy to adolescent Amy was pretty much the bee's knees with a cherry on top.

So to that oncologist and neuro-surgeon I say to heck with that idea, it's not bad luck, I've been given this for a reason, to make my life, and others, lives better, and so that I might grow from this. And even as I write this, it seems hard to believe that, but deep down I know it's true. Each day that I'm breathing will be another chapter in the book of my life. And boy what a good read it is!