Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Walk a mile wearing my pink ribbon

I found out in the last two days that two devout and caring friends have metastatic breast cancer.  

Like a sucker punch to the gut it dropped me to my knees.

I want to scream: What kind of world is this? What kind of cruel jokester-creator would allow this outrage? I know that life isn't fair, but just how unfair is it?

Ponder for a moment all those well meaning email forwards and editorial cartoons of G-d's hands safely guiding the United flight 1549 for its gentle life saving bath in the Hudson.  Mustn't those same souls who saw divine intervention at work in the "miracle on the Hudson" also show that same heavenly hands turning off all the " can't we all get along" genetic controls in the malignant cells in my friends' breast, so that their cancer cells can blindly plunder the riches of the rest of their bodies? If we give G-d all the credit, she must also shoulder the blame. 

Will the ghost of Viktor Frankel please help me with some meaning here? (If you have not already read his book, Man's Search for Meaning, drop everything and read it this week. It might change your life).

Discussions of theodicy (theology that addresses moral evil in the world) are the cost of doing business in my line of work. It doesn't make it hurt any less.

About a quarter million American find out they have breast cancer every year. Thankfully for most it is not in their bones when they get the unwanted diagnosis. Despite its horrors, it is almost always a winnable battle.

For comparison, only 15,000 are told by their doctors the usually surprising news that they have the "gentle cancer" CLL. They drop the bomb later in the conversation that it is incurable.

With breast cancer, decisions come fast and furious.  Time is not your friend.

With my leukemia, the opposite is true. We have time to ponder our next move and our mortality.

To reflect on the role fate and a creator play.



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