Sunday, January 30, 2011

Money Money Money

So, ever since this "C" has been around, my whole family, mainly my mom and I, have taken a gander at the ol' World Wide Web. Bad idea....bad bad bad idea. It tells you things like the average survival rate for lung cancer victims is 16 percent. It tells you that most people with later stage cancer die within a year. Stuff I was not prepared for. Things you don't think you have to face in 2011. I know a lot of people, or children of people that have breast cancer. None of them have died. Pink pink pink, wear your pink, pink ribbons, pink t-shirts, marathons for pink people! Everyone knows what month is breast cancer awareness month, everyone know that a pink ribbon means breast cancer.

Do you know what color is assigned to lung cancer?

Come can do it...think about it...

Didn't think so. It's white. I'm not going to lie. I knew pink was the color for breast cancer, I didn't know white was the color for lung cancer. I figured it out the night we found out about the big "C." I went online and in a terrible crying spell, spent a lot of money on WHITE stuff. White car magnets, white bracelets, white t-shirts and the list goes on. It was after this I found on another wesbite the HORRIBLE statistics that go along with lung cancer.

Did you know that lung cancer has the second worst survival rate after pancreatic cancer? Did you know lung cancer kills more people than breast, prostate, colon and pancreatic COMBINED? I didn't either.

Lung cancer has a five year survival rate of 16%. Breast cancer, however, has a 5 year survival rate of 88%. Prostate has a 5 year survival rate of 99%.

Why? WHY?! Money.

Annually, the funding for breast cancer is more than $27,000 per victim. It is less than $1,200 for a lung cancer victim. I am angry. I am very angry. I think a lot of this disconnect has to do with blame. Breast cancer victims didn't do anything to deserve their cancer, they are victims. Lung cancer victims deserve their cancer, they smoked, they brought it on themselves, why raise money for people who did this to themselves. Right?

Wrong. My mom did not do THIS to herself. She is not a chronic smoker, never has been. She does not have bad lungs. She does NOT deserve this. And with that said, smokers, who make up 90% of lung cancer victims, do not deserve this either. They deserve no chance? They deserve no one speaking for them? No one wearing a white ribbon or sporting a white t-shirt while running a race?

I disagree. So, I've order a large amount of white bracelets and will be passing them out. I will wear mine everyday. I will wear my t-shirt and place my ribbon magnet on my car.

"If not us, who? If not now, when?"

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Don't let your praying knees get lazy

I don't pray on my knees. Do you? Does anybody? Knee praying seems mostly reserved for little blonde-haired girls before bed and after story time. Most of my prayers take place driving in my car or laying in bed. I never speak my prayers out loud unless it is prayer before a meal....or a quickie, for example, "Lord help me get through this." Sometimes I think praying to God only in my head is jipping Him, like I'm being lazy and am not speaking aloud to Him. However, my buddy, Sarah S., would tell me, "God just wants you to talk to him, he doesn't care how." I think I agree with that.

I wanted to talk about prayer in this blog because I have been praying A LOT lately, as you know my mom has been diagnosed with the big C(still not willing to say the word, so sue me,) Also because I have been asking, begging rather, for others, anyone, everyone to pray for her as well.

There are two REALLY big questions about God and my faith that boggle my brain more than any other, and that I bug my husband endlessly to give me better answers to than what he is able to give so far. Shame on him right? Just kidding. The two questions are THIS: Why are we supposed to pray. What does it do? AND, Has God PLANNED out my entire life, so that I do what he has set into order from Day One, or does he just KNOW my entire life, and sits back and watches it play out? These are my big two questions. Both questions are very much intertwined. If God has my life planned out, what's the point of praying? The big Man upstairs already said, "This is what's up, homies." If God does NOT have my life planned, and does not control what I do, What ALSO is the point of praying? Get what I'm saying? If my life is my choice, God does not control my decisions, then why pray for His intervene? That goes against what He does. If I could get someone, anyone, to answers these questions, I'd be good to go brother! Mostly when I ask people, like my husband, the answer is very vague and "fluffy" as I like to call it. "I don't know, that's a good question." or, "God can do anything." My husband thinks God made us to self-determine our lives, he gives us free will to make our own decisions. However, my husband also thinks God can intervene if He wants to. If you ask me, a toddler in God-school, I think that's crap! I need a answer that is ALWAYS the answer. Not, sometimes He does this, sometimes He doesn't.

We got really good news (so far) regarding what stage my mom's cancer is in. I have never prayed so hard in my life for this, and I know a lot of friends and family has prayed passionately and intensely for the same thing. Did God decide to bless her with an early stage, because he controls our life? Or did we just get lucky, because God does not interfere, just watches.

Am I praying because God will change the results, or simply to give my comfort that perhaps He COULD change the results. It's hard for me to understand the "It's God's will" or in "God's plan" stuff. What kind of "plan" involves my mom's demise? I'm sure plenty of God lovers in the past have gathered all their God-loving friends and prayed HARD for a loved-one"s sickness, but got bad news. If my prayers were "answered" why weren't theirs? Saying it's God's will insinuates that this is the course of God's plan and he has decided it in advance. Why pray then?

Funny, the next thought that popped up in my brain just now....

...maybe I should pray about it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Start your engines....

Today was the official start to testing for this..."thing." I have a really hard time saying the "C" word. Doesn't everybody know that if you don't say the word it doesn't exist? Or am I the only one in on that very convenient secret. Today we had a CT scan and Pulmonary Function Test. My mom is not a weak person, and to see her in vulnerable position, uncomfortable, having to do things she is unsure about, tears my heart out. I don't want to see my strong mother being vulnerable and unsure. I want her to be her. The her she has always been for me. Things are changing so fast I don't know what's going on anymore. I'm having to "be" for my mom, instead of her having to "be" for me. I knew this would come, I'm not completely ignorant to the circle of life people, but now? She is only 55, I am only 25. I'm not ready to be for her yet. I still need her to be for me. When I've been crying and breaking down and need someone to talk to about the C word, I can no longer run to my go-to gal. I desperately do NOT want to be the go-to gal for her. My heart can't take it. I know being for her will most likely be the most important job I will ever do in my entire life, that and maybe being a mother. I am proud that she wants me to be the one, that does not make it any easier.

Tomorrow we find out the results of the CT scan. Pretty much, if the C has spread anywhere other than her lung. If it has, later stages will be labeled and very very very poor prognosis will be given. You know on movies, or perhaps in life when people say to God, "Oh God, if you do this one thing, Lord, I PROMISE, I will do....." Go to church every Sunday, quit drinking, etc. I find myself wanting to have this little chat with God.

I've never had a situation in my life yet where I would say, "God, please take me instead, let the bad thing happen to me." I guess that's a good thing. Now I do. I so wish I could have this cancer and she wouldn't. For so many reasons. I don't want her to hurt, I don't want her to cry. I don't want her to be vulnerable and have to go through all this medical stuff. I would take it in a heart beat, I don't have any children that would miss me, I wouldn't have to cry everyday,  I wouldn't have to torture myself over thoughts of life without her.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Faith? Yes Please.

So, here I am. I've finally decided to start blogging. I've been wanting to for awhile now, but thanks to my husband's chagrin, I postponed my blogging. "Only hippies blog!!??" He says. Oh well. Here goes nothing.

Blogging is like a "dear diary" of sorts, eh? Funny when we are young we put little locks on our diaries, hide them under our beds, keep them away from big brothers and moms, even best friends, mortified at the THOUGHT that someone would actually open the thing up and read it. A rare look into our deepest thoughts and secrets, death by embarrassment would surely come upon us if someone got their hands on it. However, "dear diary" is now, "dear entire whole huge gigantic cyber world of billions of people." Hmm. That's different.

Different as it may be, I need this. When I first started to think about blogging, my main focus was going to be on my journey to find God. I compare myself to a grade-schooler, eh, maybe a kindergartner in the school of Christianity, God, Faith, etc. Sometimes I get really good grades, definitely something really cool to put on the fridge door and brag to mom about, and sometimes I slack a little. I was really looking forward to communicating my struggles, maybe to develop relationships with others, invite others to read my thoughts and give insight, and just mainly to get it off my chest.

What put me over the "blog edge" was the discovery of my mom, my beloved Queen, having lung cancer. It is a brand new bloody bruised ugly wound that hurts deeply. It is now more than ever that I need to speak, just get my thoughts out and organize them, if that's possible. My friends and family know I'm a better writer than I am a talker, so maybe people can follow my blog and "hear" things they might not from talking to me.

I've named my blog "Faith Moving" for the obvious reasons I've mentioned above. All you need is faith, right? Eh, I dunno. Maybe. Faith or the lack there of, is and has been consuming my soul for awhile now. Faith in God, faith in myself, faith in doctors, faith in my mother, my family, my husband. I thought my faith in God was truckin' steadily up the Faithometer, I was feeling good, I was reading my bible everyday, asking a lot of good questions (at least to me)  and praying daily. Then I was hit with this semi truck of cancer, and my Faithometer took a plunge. I want to be angry at God, but can I be angry at someone I don't really know yet? It's like picking someone out of a crowd at random and shouting, "Hey you, over there! I'm mad at you!" That's not fair. Is it?