Is This Supposed To Make Me A Better Person?

| October 19, 2010

The past two years have been some of the most difficult times of my life and somehow I'm still here. I just want to run away or hide in a deep hole. I guess The Universe has some plans for me; I would just like to know what they are. So here's what has happened:

Oct. 8th, 2008 - Shatter my shoulder while clowning around on my new bicycle.
Oct. 23rd, 2008 - Primary care physician calls...seems the radiologist detected "cloudiness" in my chest x-ray of my shoulder. Is the beginnings of emphysema...nothing to worry about he says. Blood runs cold.

November 2008 - I see pulmonary specialist...after pulmonary function tests...I have slight to moderate COPD....must cease smoking immediately.

December 2008 - Student brings me article about clinical trial for early detection of lung cancer. While it costs me $325 for the CT scan, it saves my life for on Jan. 23rd, my pulmonary specialist calls me at 3:30pm with the news that they have found two tumors on my lower right lobe of my lung. All things considered, we have to assume it is cancer. 4:04 pm, I have my last cigarette, shaking like a leaf. The next few days/weeks find me undergoing all sorts of tests and probes and the like. February 18th, I am in an operating room undergoing a lobectomy for Stage IIA cancer (later it turns out to be Stage IIIA as it spread to a lymph node outside the lung). After a period of recovery, I undergo chemotherapy. It is in the middle of this that my 82 year old mother calls and informs me she has breast cancer. Yikes! I get a six week break from chemo and then it's 33 sessions of radiation which damn well near killed me. I then develop pneumonia as a result from the radiation. Things seems to settle down for a while. Then while we are on a cruise ship in Feb 2010, I have a seizure while on a day excursion. Upon my return to California, my driver's license is immediately suspended and I have to undergo a battery of tests to see if there is anything wrong. All clear. Shortly after my return, my mother informs me that they didn't get all the cancer and it has spread. She is doing chemo with mixed results, but the prognosis is not good. Meanwhile my scans have been clean, but that doesn't stop me from being scared out of my wits waiting for the results. Also due to the budget crisis, I've lost a full month of pay, but I guess that's minor in the overall scheme of things.

Five weeks ago my mother called and said things were not good and could I come to NYC...her oncologist wasn't giving her much time. So we flew back to be with her and sure enough he said she had maybe a week to ten days to live. That was five weeks ago and she is still going along. Go figure.
I flew back to California to attend to our affairs out here and straighten things out with work. But I'm a nervous wreck with my mother's situation, my employment situation and the fact that my wife will probably lose her job. So we have no income at the moment. My mother is dying slowly and I'm in the middle of a total meltdown.

Somebody tell me how this is supposed to make a stronger person?????