Thursday, October 20, 2011

How Quickly We Forget To Be Grateful

We have company coming Saturday. I am really looking forward to seeing them! They are family, and I love them dearly. However, that means we need to clean. Sigh. I have to tell you, I HATE to clean. I don't like a mess, but I don't mind dirt (when it is mine).

You know how people say "I'm not dirty, I am just messy." Well, that is the opposite here. We are not messy. You won't find a bunch of stuff laying all over in our house (except for my office, where chaos reigns). But you will find dust. Plenty of it. Why? Because we hate to clean.

I was feeling sorry for myself today, realizing that tonight and tomorrow night will be at least partially spent doing the dreading deed. Cleaning. Then, I realized something that I hope I can keep from forgetting for awhile.

Yesterday morning I was scared sh**less. You see, the evenng before, I had heard from the surgeon who had performed a lumpectomy on my right breast about 1 1/2 years ago. The gamma imaging I had done last week came back showing some little tiny specks that were of concern. She wanted me back in the morning for ultrasound.

Now, to most of you, that probably does not sound like anything to get real upset about. But, the last time I had been told of "little tiny specks" from a mammogram they had turned out to be cancer.

Wednesday, I did not tell my husband right away. We had plans to go see the exhibit "1968" at the Minnesota History Museum. He had worked hard all day, and I wanted him to have a nice time that night. Worrying that cancer has redeveloped in your wife does not exactly make the mood enjoyable. I did my crying without him around, reapplied make up, and off we went.

By the time we got back to the car, I could be strong no longer. I told him, sobbing the whole time. The rest of the night, we tried to stay upbeat and positive, but it was not easy.

The next morning I went in. I am happy to say that the doctor said they were probably ducts with debris in them, she did not feel they were cancer. She did not even feel a biopsy was necessary. Just to be extra cautious, I will return in six months for another ultrasound. It is good to be extra cautious.

During the time of worry, I wondered if I would live long enough to see my grandson, Gideon, walk. Would I end up sick soon, and not even be able to finish all of the books I wanted to write? The paintings dancing in my head, were they going to stay a dream?

Now, I am blessed with knowing that is not the case at all, barring something else that can happen to anyone. The fear is gone and life goes on. However. Today-just now-when I was feeling depressed about cleaning I remembered something else. I remembered when I did have cancer. Back then, I thought that if I could be cured of cancer, even cleaning the toilet would not seem bad. How wonderful it would be, I thought, to just do normal things that need to be done and not feel fear!

I can do that now. I need to remember how very, very lucky I am that I can dust and clean without wondering if it is the last time. Life, after all, is made up of the little things. Even though some of those little things might not be fun, they are part of the experience of being here. Dear God, help me remember that. I am so grateful to clean, after all.

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