Saturday, November 14, 2009

Beyond the beyond

I was reading my aunt's blog a few minutes ago, and someone wrote, "We are all taught that Life Isn't Fair, but this is beyond the beyond."

Do you know people who always seem to have drama and chaos in their lives? I've known those people, and I have been known to be skeptical of their stories. How can anyone possibly have THAT much stress and drama in their lives (that they weren't bringing on themselves)?

Well... I am THAT person.

In 2000, my uncle was diagnosed with a chronic illness. In 2001, my dad was diagnosed with stage IV Non-hodgkin's lymphoma and given a bad prognosis. He went into remission only to relapse six months later. He got better and then was sick again a few months after that. He moved to D.C. to live with me where he was in a clinical trial and has been in remission since 2004.

My sister had brainstem surgery in 2002. My step-dad had a herniated disk repaired. And then (after everyone was sick and tired of the hospital!) my appendix ruptured.

My grandfather was diagnosed with bladder cancer, and he died in 2004.

The next couple of years were fairly uneventful (if you consider graduating college, getting married and trying to have a baby uneventful!).

In 2007, my grandmother ate too much at Thanksgiving and had some GI issues that were life threatening. But, the fighter she is, she pulled through it.

In 2008, my house burned down. I got Bell's Palsy.

In the last few weeks, my aunt has had brain surgeries with H1N1 complications (following the first brain surgery in August), my uncle has had H1N1 with pneumonia complications, and my grandmother has had a stroke. All the while, I am dealing with my own chronic illness.

Life isn't fair. But this is beyond the beyond.

I was talking to my uncle this afternoon about my friends and family, who have been so giving through these difficult times. But, I told him, I worry. There is so much drama and stress, and I use up all of my energy just in dealing with my life that I don't have any to give back. I have very little energy right now as it is, and yet I've been spending 14 hour days at the hospital and making food for family members when I can't be. I want to give. It's in my nature to give. It makes me feel valued and a member of a community. It's not fair when the giving is one-sided though, and I really think that it is right now. I am hoping these dark clouds pass, that my emotional needs subside, and that I can one day give back to those who have given me so much.

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