My sweet 4 year old great-nephew, Brady, and I play a lot of Super Hero pretend games. His favorites are Batman, Robin and the crew. Every time we play, he always gets to be Batman and I’m always a “bad guy” usually The Joker or The Riddler. On one of his Batman houses there is a jail. Brady said to me, “You know sometimes the bad guys are in jail and sometimes they just get out.”
That is how fear of recurrence is. Some days Batman has all the bad guys locked up, and other days, the bad guys are out in full force. I know you understand! For me, the bad guys were out the last few weeks. Fear of your own recurrence comes barreling down on you when you least expect it which can easily be triggered by every day life and your compassion for others.
My very active 80-year-old mom who was my caretaker during breast cancer found a lump in her breast after a self exam, had an emergency mammogram and ultrasound and is scheduled for a biopsy this week of both breasts as they found one in each. “Here we go again” are the only words that play in my head. I know the odds are that there is a good chance that they are benign. That’s nice, and I know there is that chance, but I must be prepared with a medical plan for her. I know the phone calls I would make, the cancer center I would take her to, and what would need done if she gets that dreaded phone call. I’m no longer naïve and unfortunately have lost my ability to think “it will all be fine.”
Then I went to the funeral home to support an elderly woman who goes to my church. Every Sunday this wonderful woman tells me she continues to pray for me. This week her daughter died of cancer. I didn’t know her daughter had breast cancer until I got to the funeral home. Her mom kept telling me she had bone cancer. At the funeral home my elderly friend told me that she never wanted to make me feel bad and did not want to tell me her daughter had Breast Cancer that had metastasized to the bone. Her daughter was Stage 4 out of the gate and fought for 5.5 years until she could not fight anymore. Her daughter outlived the medical experts’ expectations. I had never met her daughter, but I felt such a kinship with the woman. As I stood by her casket I had to literally hold back sobs and my heart spoke to hers, “I know a little bit of what you have gone through. I am so sorry. I celebrate your new life with you!”
And the topper was a beloved breast cancer sister that I met through my Blog, was diagnosed with lung metastases. Her world came crashing down even more than it did with her initial diagnosis as she has to deal with a Stage 4 diagnosis. It all starts over again and her life that was just settling down, is in total upheaval. I had been telling her that her bad cough was just from a virus she had contracted. I was wrong.
I’m working on getting those bad guys locked up in jail again. I prefer they stay in jail, but sometimes they get out and there is not much you can do about it.