The air conditioning malfunctioned while we were on vacation. We had a repairman out to fix it yesterday, so the kids can resume sleeping in their upstairs bedrooms. Ben and Charlie (5 & 9) will be sharing a room again for a while since all of the carpeting in Ben’s room needs to be replaced due to water damage.
When I walked upstairs and discovered the soggy mess, my first reaction was, “Ugh. This sucks.” My second reaction was, “Thank goodness my father-in-law is here to help us.”
Then I started thinking about how grateful I was that Saul didn’t have to rip out carpeting alone (since I’m still on post-surgical restrictions), and how grateful I was that I had a friend who could refer a good AC guy, and how grateful I was that we had enough money in our savings account to pay for new flooring. I looked at Ben’s torn up room and thought, “God is good!”
Sometimes the most difficult part of cancer is not the disease. It’s the systems and the red-tape you have to navigate because you have the disease. I got a call from THE JAMES yesterday confirming an appointment with my surgical oncologist for Wednesday morning at 9:30am. I almost lost it.
I know I have appointments scheduled at 11 and 1, but we had never gotten a phone call or a letter saying that another appointment had been made for us. Wednesday is my kids’ first day of school, and my mom brain says cancer will just have to wait. I am going to get up and get my kids ready for school. I am not going to get up and leave them with a babysitter while I drive to Columbus. No sir, Cancer. Not today.
Saul came home and my sweet daughter’s eyes were like saucers as I snapped at her daddy about the incompetence of someone, somewhere, working in some department I can’t even pronounce, who has decided to make an appointment for me on the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL! Don’t they know school is starting???
Saul was sweet and loyal and protective and promised to call the office and get everything straightened out. I went to bed.
At about 5AM, I woke up and created a scathing list of all the ways this cancer thing is harder than it should be: miscommunications, denied insurance claims, unreturned phone calls, automated answering services… I just wish I had an advocate, a guide, a counselor, someone who knows what the hell is happening. And then I realized I do.
As I lay there in bed, it was almost as if God said, “Are you done yet?”
I’ve come so far in the past few year in terms of keeping a cool head and looking for the blessing in every situation, like in the case of the wet carpet. But I was allowing cancer and all the silly things that go with it to unravel me.
It wasn’t until I started thinking about what I was thinking about that I realized I’m doing no good, I’m making no headway, by allowing myself to dwell on the things I cannot control, like over-worked receptionists and insurance protocol.
God’s whisper was just enough to remind me that I am lucky… blessed rather, that I live in a land with hospitals, that I have insurance, that I have a disease that is treatable, and that I have an army of angels (literally and figuratively) surrounding me.
I’ve decided I’m done fighting. I’m not going to my 9:30 appointment on Wednesday, but I’m also not going to follow the rabbit of blame down the black hole. Who cares why I was never informed? We’ll reschedule.
Slowly but surely, everything will work itself out. How do I know? Because I have an advocate, a guide, a counselor, someone who knows what is happening and He has assured me time and time again that He’s got this.