Monday, April 18, 2011

So damn lucky

As usual when it’s been a while since I’ve written, I’ve got a great blog rolling around in my head about taking my son to a flash mob last weekend (I guess I’ll post once the official video is up, it’s awesome) but something has come up that I have to get out or I might actually explode.

Like most everyone, I think I take my health for granted. Yes, I’m a big girl, but I’m pretty damn healthy. My son can be a PITA (pain in the…) but he’s healthy. My husband, my dog, my (6’8”) “baby” brother, my 66 year old dad. At times PITA, PITA, PITA, PITA, but healthy, healthy, healthy, all things considered (like 55+ years of smoking and severe arthritis in his back) healthy.

Even when it comes to my mom’s colon cancer, yes, she had it for a while, and it was bad, and the side effects are still bad. She still has trouble walking, typing, writing, all of those things we take for granted with healthy hands and feet. But the cancer is gone. There’s a good chance she WILL see my son graduate from MIT, or wherever his crazy little science brain takes him, even though he’s only in second grade now.

Tricia in Hawaii
I’m pretty sure the 1st time I introduced you to my friend Tricia Moen, I was explaining what motivates me. And I swore to carpe every damn diem. I not only meant to at the time, but I think I’ve done an OK job. I did the 13.1 miles that weren’t even on my bucket list. I joined one of the world’s largest flash mobs and danced as if no one was watching. I’ve hugged and kissed my loved ones, and I tell my son that I love him every single day.

But walking all the way around the island where Paul Allen grew up doesn’t make cancer go away. And fleece scarves may be a comfort, but they don’t strangle out tumors. And where my mom’s cancer was able to be cut out in one surgery, Tricia has not been as lucky. She’s been undergoing a clinical trial, but it’s not working. And whereas mom’s life is still hopefully measured in decades, just this weekend she learned that her doctors are giving her months.

Even thinking about this is like a punch to the gut. She’s not even 40. Just last week she was nominated for a local news Emmy, and there’s a chance she won’t feel well enough for the ceremony in June. In general, I try not to be maudlin, but today I just can’t help it. It’s just not f-ing fair. I want to scream and shout and cry. I can only imagine what her family, or our friends who get to see her every day are going through.

I still don’t know who reads my dumb blog, but I just need to scream, even if it’s just into the internet ether.

I know life isn’t fair. I try to explain it to my son almost every day. I have another friend who just spent a week at Children’s with her son. He’s finally home, back at school, and he’ll be fine. Much like my mom's cancer, I can’t think differently than that. But for Tricia, I’m having to let my belief that you can always move forward, you can always do something to be the change you wish to see in the world… I have to let that go.

A few min ago I had to stop writing and just hug my boy, and I was sobbing so hard, he thought I was bouncing him on my lap and laughing. And once he started laughing, I couldn’t help it, I was too.

I’ve never been really into religion. I’m pretty sure that if there is a God, he cares more about how you live your life than where you hang out on Sundays. But if he’s out there, I really need to thank him.

I’ve got my health, and that of my family. I’ve got a job that pays the bills and keeps a roof over our heads. I’ve got a little boy who can turn a sob into a laugh without even knowing that I’m crying. And I’ve had a chance to know some of the best people in the whole world ever. I always said that when my Grandpa Dyer died, the world was a lesser place. It simply lost one of its best people.

That will also be true of Tricia. She’s not a martyr, sure, she screams and cries and gets pissed. But never that most people would see. Instead, she holds on to the hope and love of her family and friends. And we all love her for it. And once I get out my rage and tears, I’ll make sure I’m back in the place that focuses on giving her every bit of love and support for as long as she wants it from me.  If love could cure cancer, I know Tricia's would be long gone.

So yes, I’m lucky for my friends and family and health, but that I can have friends like Tricia who teach me to appreciate those things. That’s what makes me truly, so damn lucky.


  1. Well said! {{{Hugs}}} Sending out good thoughts & positive energy for Tricia, too!