The hot potato happen to fall upon my mum's lap. It happened quickly and the whole family rallied behind her to quickly sort out the problem. Within 2 weeks, after countless blood test and consultation, she went through a small operation to ascertain the spread and another bigger operation to get her womb removed, so she should be on the road to full recovery. Thereafter, it's yearly checkup for 5 yrs to make sure that she is cleared.
It sounds like a bad thing, but really, it's one of the best thing that can happen to any person, should you survive that is. Why do I say that?
1. Immediately, there's a 180 degree change in attitude. My mum always complained to me about how she's always taken for granted. But this is nothing an extended hospital stay and a serious illness cannot resolve. People started realising that once the help is absent, the status quo is changed and they themselves will have to step up to shoulder the burden in order to bring the status back to normality. It's the fact that people had to do things themselves that they never had to do it in the past that makes them think about how hard and difficult my mum had been silently doing without complains in the past. I think this is certainly a 'life-changing' experience for her. Maybe it's only for the short term because she's ill? We don't know, but at least my mum can be grateful that people are appreciative of her efforts now.
2. Love need not be expressed out in three words. If you listen hard and intently, and recognise the language of love, it is there. Love is when you see someone constantly by your side before the operation, reassuring you that things will go well. Love is when you stay beside the bedside waiting for hours while the anaesthetic wears off. Love is when you gently brush the hair off the face and whisper softly to the ears while lying on the bed half awake. Love is when you're surrounded by your family and friends, all eager to see that you're eating properly and ready to support you come what may. That is the language of love; it can be silent and very expressive, if you listen hard and intently.
3. An unfortunate incident is an opportunity to bring out the best in people. If things are fine, everything just goes on with their routine life. We should be grateful when things don't go our way, because we have the opportunity to change ourselves and we can all come ahead better from all these. There's the usual disputes between family members in my family. I think a serious illness puts all these in the correct perspective. How many years do we have here? Out of that, how many years do you want to be unhappy and sulky and be angry with each other? If you see the little things in a broader view, I think you'll see that everything is just a blip in our life. Treasure the good and the bad things that happened, because it gives you experiences.
See? It's not really that bad isn't it? And what do I learn out of all these?
1. Get the best h&s plan that you can afford. When one is ill, recovery of health is more urgent and the last thing you want to think about is whether you have to wait a longer period. My mum met some patients who had been caught inside the bureaucratic web and had been bouncing around places to places until the cancer spreads more extensively than necessary. Some of them are surprised she went through countless body checks, MRI scans and 2 ops within 1 week (plus another week for recovery from ops) while they had been waiting for years. It's unfair and it's unfortunate but there's just more patients waiting for more subsidized wards than less subsidized ones.
2. Have a positive mindset. Life is a big ironic play, with actors like you and me. When one is unafraid of death, the likelihood of death falls. When one lives inside a cage of worry and anxiety, sometimes the fear and the negative emotions just suck you in and spiral you downwards. What you can do, you do your best. What outcomes you cannot control, you let go. Letting go is not giving up. The difference lies in who the master and the slave is - the situation or yourself.
3. Be vulnerable and let others take care of you once a while. First you can let them appreciate you more, and secondly, you allow them to grow and wean off you. If you don't let go, they can't build the muscles for their eventual flight. We all have to part someday.