Having lived now through two invasive cancers, I often asked God in my times of deepest emotional despair and physical pain, the question “Why?” Of course this was a rhetorical question, or at least I thought so at first.
I’d had, earlier in my life, a wonderful career and children. I loved my job and had my own house, the property which contained an unending array of flowering plants and shrubs enough to keep my gardening hobby busy. I enjoyed my life, for the most part, and was never restricted when it came to financially being able to do or accomplish those things I wanted to. Whether it was what I chose to buy at the grocery store or spontaneously taking the kids somewhere for fun, there wasn’t a need for hesitation.
There were a number of factors that came together in deciding to move from New Jersey to Florida, none of which are truly relevant to this story, but move we did. Life in Florida wasn’t the “new beginning” I had imagined despite my having investigated job opportunities, the housing market and other important issues in advance. Oh, I did buy another house, but my skill set had placed me in a position which future employers referred to as “too over-qualified”.
I eventually got a job, which I hated, but was necessary to pay the bills. Then four years after the move I was hit from out of the blue with something I thought I had left behind fifteen years earlier. Cancer. Well, precancerous lesions at the time, and because of less knowledgeable physicians than I had in New York, my condition became invasive once again.
Going through treatment a second time carries a whole new set of potential complications and side effects. My body had already gone through massive doses of radiation and chemotherapy, and radiation as I learned carries a lifetime maximum after which irreparable damage is done. Unfortunately, that was the outcome of my second course of treatments.
Side effects and complications kept me inside like a cloistered nun. I had already lost my job, my home, and subsequently just about all I had worked for in my life. Within a short period of time everything changed.