There’s a saying that goes “first day man is a guest, second day a pest and third day a burden”. This saying is applicable to everyone as I’m sure we all have different stories to tell. I’ve had my fair share of guests too ranging from occasional bouts of fever to irritating characters that have come and gone. But in all, nothing ever prepares you for that burdensome “guest”. At first you may think you think you can handle it over time or find a way around it somehow but when it really gets down to it, nothing is what it seems.
After I lost my mum to breast cancer a decade ago, I figured it was one of those experiences you go through in life. Then came that awkward moment when I was 21yrs old and down with one of them “guests”, chickenpox! And I thought, ‘well…ok! It comes and goes. Then I’m taking a bath one day and like a rude shock I noticed a pea sized lump in one of my breasts. I’ve known my breasts to be very healthy in spite of their size (they suffered arrested development in my teens) but this? Anyhow, I met with my doc and ended up going under the knife for a 45minute minor procedure with no side effects (that’s if you count post-operative pain).
So I carry on with my life, wading through the turbulent waters of life, hanging unto my faith and God and everything seemed to be going well till 8yrs later when the same guest arrived again, this time in a different location from the first. Hmm….not again!!! I echoed the same reaction from friends and family. But, hey! I did it once and I will do it again ‘send them packing’, sounds easy doesn’t it? It always does till you have to go under that knife. If I should count my scars…..So in and out I went with once again with bearable side effects or so I thought. My breasts were never really the same after that. It was always one scare after the other until my doc found a name for it ‘fibrocystic disease’.
Well considering my age and family history, I had a lot to worry about as much as my doc always tried to dispel my fears which leaves me to sound this note of warning “NEVER LISTEN TO A DOCTOR WHO TELLS YOU TO GO HOME WITH NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT, GET A SECOND OPINION OR BUG THE HELL OUTTA HIM TILL YOU GIVE HIM SOMETHING TO WORRY ABOUT’. Too many people have lost their lives in the process but that’s talk for another day. In the end, after having to deal with all these breast changes, I look back now and wonder if I was being prepared for that ‘burdensome guest’ and personally, I can’t say. I know I prayed hard never to experience it but it still came.
I had yet another go under the knife after I noticed a lump I had been carrying for close to 3yrs. My doc was well aware of this but then again don’t take ‘don’t worry’ for an answer. I just got tired of carrying it and insisted I have it tested of which the result wasn’t convincing enough to my doc who felt it was best removed and tested again for more conclusive results which of course came back positive for cancer. After all my breasts and I had been through, I sat still for a long while before the tears began to fall. All these years I’d always escaped with benign results. Why not now? After watching my mum go through this, I knew I was in for a long, lonely and painful journey.
Nothing ever prepares you for adversity. Never did I imagine that I will have to lean and depend heavily on people the way I have done and still do especially someone like me who’s always independent and meticulous even to the last detail. People say I’m strong but I’m to understand how. I just know it’s God’s doing. I had prayed and hoped that He’d spare me this agony but I guess He said NO! IT HAS TO BE YOU! In all things however, He’s shown that He’s there and very much in charge of things. You see this thing called ‘trust’ is grace given by God. I don’t think I’ve had to ask the ‘why me?’ question and don’t plan to because it really doesn’t change anything. It always makes sense to surrender and see where He takes you. I’ve begun my journey and it’s beginning to take its toll physically and otherwise but I take it one step at a time and I see myself missing out on a lot of things like my career (never really had a social life) but whatever is lost can always be replaced. Things will never be the same for me again for sure but I’m grateful for the all the support I’m getting. This guest may be a burden but one thing I know for sure is that we will never forget each other.