Saturday, April 21, 2012

On the Bright Side

The very week that I was being diagnosed with breast cancer, some Facebook friend (I truly don't remember who) posted a status about always finding the bright side of any situation. That's a load of crap. You can't tell me that during that first week, I should have been saying, "At least we caught it" and "I'm glad we have insurance." That first week, I NEEDED to be panicked and angry and grieving, and there is absolutely no reason to go looking for rays of sunshine. They will find their way through the clouds on their own. Really.

I bring this up because this week has had some real bright sides (or at least, a bunch of It-could-be-worses.)

I'll start with this article from the Syracuse paper: SRC to Layoff 35. Yes, that's Paul's company. We found out on Tuesday (the article was on Wednesday) that some people from his division were on the chopping block. Paul assured me that he was 99% sure that he was safe, but there's always that doubt. That would've sucked, right? But this post would have a different title if Paul's instinct was wrong, so he texted me around noon on Thursday that we could breathe again. Since the last layoff at SRC was in 1993, I think we'll be breathing freely for a while.

Also on Tuesday, I was standing around after Maggie's preschool with a group of moms. These are ladies with whom I've done playdates and birthday parties and we've clicked as friends, though we all just met in September. They all told me, point blank, to just put them down on the calendar for anytime I need childcare, ever. (Thanks to Kurri, Julia, Kim, Jen, and Holly, who wasn't there but I know would have said the same thing.) Now, I know that all sounds like pretty normal friend stuff: I watch your kids, you watch mine. But here's the real bright side: If I'd gotten cancer a year ago, I had literally ZERO friends around here like that. (Keep in mind that we'd just moved back here at that time. I'm not really that much of a loser. Or maybe I am and I just found some other losers. Alright, foot out of mouth and back to my story.) I'm so glad that this is happening now.

About that timing thing: It's a good thing the girls aren't older because then they may have had some preconceived ideas about cancer and/or chemo instead of just trusting that Mommy's going to get better. It's a good thing the girls aren't younger because 18 months ago, I was still nursing Reese. If there's a perfect age for a child to be when a Mommy gets breast cancer, I'd say it's 3 or 4. (Bingo!)

Now for just a list of bright sides:
- We're insured. So far, nothing has been questioned at all.
- I'm staying at home. How hard would these gazillion doctor's appointments be to fit in if I had a job?
- Paul has a bunch of vacation time. As irony would have it, Paul said at the beginning of February, "My vacation time is adding up to the point that I'm going to start losing some. We have to figure out how to use it." (We thought a trip to Baltimore/DC was going to be the solution.)
- Maggie and Reese have transitioned seamlessly from having Mommy 24/7/365 to being shuffled from one house to another a couple times a week. I really thought my presence was important, but I'm glad for their sakes to see that it's not.
- That whole Sunday School job thing worked out pretty well, too.
- Anti-nausea drugs exist.
- And a petty one: I had big boobs in the first place. Now I can appreciate my little(r) ones.

Finally, and the biggest one, I live in a time when I can blog and Facebook my whole experience so that support is coming from every person I've ever known. I don't know how I'd stay positive without little check-in emails every day from so many friends. Thank you all!

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