My life in episodes

I need some serious perspective on this.  I feel as though my life never works out to my detriment, just as an episodic TV prime time drama series.  It all starts out well, shit hits the fan, and then it all works out for the best in then end.

This sort of structured life lesson factory has been chugging along for all of my life (or at least what I remember).  Just like a TV show it seems as though no matter how shitty life becomes there is a fairly quick resolution, with a timeframe akin to how long it takes in a modern TV drama.

That’s why I have never been worried about my future; everything seems to work out for the best in the end.  This outlook ended earlier tonight when I learned of my mother-in-law’s breast cancer.  While not the first, or second, or even third time my family has dealt with caner this time it just feels different.  What scares me is how correct those feelings have been in the past.  Though the statistics are on my side (a 89% 10-year survival rate based on what they currently know) I cannot help but feel a sense of dread I have never felt before even when confronted with a metastatic cancer in an older family member.

I won’t hide my feelings; I never liked my mother-in-law.  She is the perfect example of a horrible, destructive mother-in-law; fanning the flames in minor differences, extreme partisanship in the relationship (so much so that even my wife blew up at her the last time her family visited), and an extreme and unjustified grudge towards me.  But even she, the one who I cannot stand more than any other and has done all she can to sabotage my relationship with my wife, does not deserve a fate such as cancer.

Part of what worries me is how helpless science still is against such a foe.  Amazing advances have been made that have allowed countless numbers of patients longer, symptom-free lives, and yet we are still losing the war.  Most disturbing is how a blogger I regularly follow just happens to have lost his mother-in-law to breast cancer last month (Feb 12th).  Of course, what disturbs me most is that he is an MD, PhD oncologist specializing in breast cancer in Detroit where my mother-in-law resides.  Few things in my life have ever made me feel more helpless.

However, I have hope.  Up to this date my life has followed a very strict and periodic number of setbacks and I am hoping this is just another one of them.  What frightens me is the realization that this streak has to hit the brick wall of reality some time.

All I know is that every dramatic series has the requisite tragic episode where everyone learns what it means to lose someone.  I hope this is not such an episode, and instead it turns out to be one of hope and triumph.  I hope…


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