Thursday, May 31, 2007

I'm going to shut up now.

This morning started out with an argument with my dearly beloved "Q" and before it escalated to something worse, I decided that I would shut up and leave and when we were both calm, we would discuss the overdraft issue. Both of us were reacting badly to what the other was trying to communicate and since were were just misunderstanding each other's message, it was best I shut up and leave. He was mad, and I was mad, and I think both of us were hurt, so...enough.

Then I was listening to the radio on my way to my sister's house this morning. I'm a channel changer, I go up and down the dial, and I listen to KQRS and 107.1 FM's Ian and Marjorie show. It was during one of the commercials for Ian and Marjorie that I heard Kevin Burger detailing her recent diagnosis of breast cancer and that she would be later discussing this topic this morning on her show, The Kevin and Colleen show. I almost drove off the road. When her show came on, I was at home and I pulled out the only radio I have that will pick up the station to listen to what she had to say.

After the Race for the Cure, a Breast Cancer charity fundraiser in which most of the 107.1 FM radio personalities participated, Kevin was scheduled for a mammogram. She also has a monthly breast self-examination that she does Live on her radio program. It was after this mammogram, that she was diagnosed with breast cancer, possibly Stage 2 or 3. She is scheduled for a right breast mastectomy, with reconstruction, and a follow-up of chemotherapy. She was on an hour of her 3 hour show. It was emotional to say the least.

Kevin is a well-known television and radio personality here in the Twin Cities. She is fifty years old, with 3 kids, and a near newlywed to her husband of a year and a half. She makes her living making conversation and she is straight up funny and to the point and I love listening to the topics she discusses on the radio. She's her own person and she is every woman, all at the same time. And like every woman who has to face this diagnosis, she is asking, Why me? Why now? What can I do?

I fell apart listening to her in my kitchen, tears streaming down my face, especially when she said that her children would be forever changed because of this. They have no idea!

It reminded me of when my mother was diagnosed over 7 years ago, and the feelings that ran through me and the fear of the possibility of losing my mother. I remember the surgery, the recovery, the complications, the pain she had to go through, and the relief after one year, two, three, all the way up to now seven years of being cancer free.

My mother was lucky. She was diagnosed early, through a mammogram and later a biopsy, and surgical intervention was enough for her. She didn't have to go through chemo or radiation like her sisters did that year. Yes, you read that correctly, two of her sisters were diagnosed and underwent mastectomies in less than a year's time. Her younger sister was diagnosed first and had her surgery the week of Thanksgiving in 1999. Then my mother was diagnosed on her birthday, January 10, 2000. Then around April or May of 2000, her second oldest sister was diagnosed and had surgery.

Am I afraid this will happen to me? Yes. Am I doing anything to prevent this from happening? Yes, but I don't think it's enough, and I need to do more, but if you're going to get it, you're going to get it! I pray I don't, but I am also prepared for the reality that it just might show up someday. I won't sit back and let it run my life, but I know I will have to fight and I am prepared to do that.

In the end, I realized that as bad as the last few weeks have been, they haven't been as bad as that. No more whining. No more fighting. In the grand scheme of things, it's only money and I am grateful that "Q" is still in my life and I would take him over all the money in the world any day, and yes, including this morning when we were both not communicating properly to one another. After I thought about a while, I realized that in the end, he was just being concerned and trying to help, and that I shouldn't have reacted so defensively towards him. At least we are both in reasonably good health and that we aren't facing an illness or impending death. Sorry, I will try to do better, honey. Love you.

As for Kevin Burger and her family, I wish you love and luck and blessings as you help each other through this journey. Be kind to one another, hug a lot, laugh even more, and believe in your heart you are healing. Cry if you need to, it's painful, I don't care who you talk to, you are losing a part of your body. But that part that leaves doesn't define you as person, or a mother, or a wife, or a woman. My prayers are with you all and for anyone else going through this in your life right now.

OK, no more whining, and I'm going to shut up now.


Jeni said...

Great post, Laura. You are so right about dealing with virtually any illness or problems with the body or mind -either/or. With respect to breast cancer, it is so very true, those parts do not define us as women. It goes way beneath that surface, for sure.
I've been cancer free for four years now -colo-rectal cancer and like you, because of my family medical history, I think I always believed - or knew - eventually good old cancer would come along and play tag with me, and it did. And, it isn't a nice process to go through but, a positive attitude does go a heck of a long way with it for helping to heal, helping to become cured and a statistic of the good kind.
My family and I are fighting another type of "demon" so to speak now - it's called autism and my little granddaughter, age 3 1/2, who we have suspected for about two years now of being autistic was just evaluated two weeks ago and it was determined that yes, she is autistic. From all appearances now, it also looks like her baby brother probably has the disorder too. But you know, it's not the life sentence it was once believed to be - as the therapists who come once a week to work with the granddaughter have done wonders, have also taught my daughter and I a lot of ways to help her and to help ourselves then too.
Virtually everything -if caught in time -can generally be fixed almost back to "good as new" -or pretty darned close these days. Here's hug for you too - take and use it wherever, whenever you need it, kiddo!

Laura M. Crawford said...

Thanks, Jeni. I feel a lot better today, just have to keep reminding myself that the more I worry about money or the lack thereof, the less that seems to come into my life. But it's not just the money, it's everything else too. I forgot to just let go and Let God. I can't control the Universe, so why get frustrated at trying? That's not my job.

I hope you don't have any more health problems, and as far as your grandchildren with autism, there are such great strides being made to help the families that have that journey to go through. Medical science is advancing, sometimes slowly, but it is advancing and thanks to that advancement, I believe my mother and her sisters are alive today because of that. I am so grateful that the knowledge and processes are available. Who knows how much father it can go?

Thanks also for the hug. Sending one right back! ((((((HUGS))))))

sheryll said...

Hi Laura, As far as the overdraft's go, there is nothing that can be done except bitch and cry alot, and hope you get the money back good luck with that, I been there and have had the same fights with my jim. and it don't pay, just go on with your life, and live it to the fullest and be happy, you have what you have,, we are only here for a little while. so let go and let god, just pray for all the other's who have medical problems. so far as far as i know there is no one in the family with cancer, but on my Jim's side there has been alot of it. His sister sue was diagnost with bone cancer, she lost her leg, from the pelvis on dowm, her spirits are good, man what a strong person she is, she and her husband lost a son a few short years ago, and that is not fair, kids are not spose to go before their parents. So any way hope things are better for ya. no droping your camera or your phone in the lake, and no more over drafts and by the way how is my little brother doing with his back? Later girl.. Sheryll