Do You Feel Lucky?

Several years ago my mother came in waving her winning scratch-off ticket in the air. My ex smiled and said, “another winner?” and she beamed, “yes! This one was $50! I’m very lucky.” I said, “I never win anything on those.” She said, “well, I’m very lucky.” I said, “So am I, but I never win those things.”

My ex laughed and asked, “you think you’re lucky?!”

“Yeah, you don’t think I’m a lucky person?”

He shook his head. Nervously laughed and said, “oh my God…no…look at your life. The surgeries! The car accidents! Your father dying when you were a kid! The horrible pregnancies…how can you think you’re lucky?”

There’s a song by Sia that I just love. It’s called, “unstoppable“.

I’ll put my armor on
Show you how strong I am
I’m unstoppable
I’m a Porsche with no brakes
I’m invincible
Yeah, I win every single game
I’m so powerful
I don’t need batteries to play
I’m so confident
I’m unstoppable today

A few years ago I started having additional medical problems. I was at a doctor’s office, and sometimes ER, every week for about 4 months straight. The issue was, “let’s see what cancer is killing you.” My middle son was 8 at the time it started, and being highly empathetic and close to me, this was hard for him to watch. My younger daughter was too young to notice mom wasn’t acting normally and my eldest was kind of oblivious as a young the-world-revolves-around-me teenager.

After several months of tests, surgeries, scares, and finally the beginning of kidney failure, my hematologist figured out how to fix me. And he did. If he asked me to have a baby for him I would. I love this man–he saved my life. I am still there every other weekend but, here’s the thing, I’m still there every other weekend. I’m not in an urn.

So my daughter has been suffering from attachment issues with me as long as she’s been alive. I started seeing a therapist because, while I adore my daughter, I am sick of finding her in my bed every morning. I had to figure out how to calm my kid down.

When my sister in law died she was only 33 years old. She died from a very rare and very aggressive form of lymphoma. Her diagnosis came one month after my doctor figured out my issue and saved me and she died 7 weeks after being diagnosed. Her daughter and my daughter,  3 months apart, are great friends, as well as cousins. My sister in law and I were very close. This event rocked our world in ways you cannot imagine (unless you’ve been there).

So one day my therapist said, “does your daughter know why you’re at the doctor so much?” I realized, that after all these years of saying, “I’ll be right back….I have to get my shot” it was commonplace to me but she didn’t understand or know what was going on. She just saw my arms always bruised from blood work and bandages from various “shots.”

So I sat my daughter down one night and said, “you know how I always go to the doctor on Saturday mornings? Do you know why?” Her eyes widened and she said, “no, I don’t.”

I started to explain and she interrupted, “is it like aunt …” and I quickly and emphatically said, “no, it’s not.” So I sat up straight, pulled my shirt up, and showed her the massive scar  on my stomach from my childhood. I pulled my jeans up over my knee and showed her the scars  from when I jumped off a ski lift when I was 20, and stupid, and needed surgery. I told her about three serious car accidents I had–one literally broke my neck, both knees, and bruised my heart when it shook inside my body on impact. When I was a kid, I wanted to spend Easter break with my dad and stepmother. But, we didn’t have the money for me to travel at the time (he lived in another state). To be frank, if we really looked at how much money my stepfather made when I was growing up, we were probably considered below the poverty line. My father and stepmother died coming home from a party–and I’m sure I would have been with them and suffered the same fate as the accident was particularly horrific. My eldest has hated school since preschool and one day he was sobbing and not wanting to go, I have a soft spot for tears, so I stayed home from work instead of asking my sitter to take him to nursery school. I had no idea that would be the day that some terrorists would fly planes into my office building. Her eyes were large and she looked anxious. I said, “do you see now sweetie? You just can’t kill me. I’m like the x-men–I get stronger. I still don’t have claws like wolverine but–ya never know.” And she started to giggle. And now I was more dramatic and said, “I’m superfucking woman! Don’t you SEE????” and she laughed harder.

I’ve recently been told some old issues may be causing new issues. And so now the cycle begins again with scans and blood work. Am I worried? If I’m honest I will say yes, I’m a little worried. Losing a parent when you’re a child is horrible. I do not want my children to endure that fate. But do I feel lucky?

If I believed in luck, I would tell you that yes, I am most definitely a very lucky person. I should have died when I was 4 years old–I did not. I was in several very bad car accidents over the years (anyone want to go for a drive?) When I went to get my personal items from my car the junkyard guy asked if I was next of kin–he heard that the driver had died. I laughed and said, ” I was the driver. I’m very much alive.”

So let me ask you….with someone who has had so many opportunities to die, and I’m still here despite it all, do you think I’m lucky? Maybe it’s luck. Maybe it’s because I’m a bitch that refuses to let go. Or, maybe I’m meant to be here longer. Who is to know, really?

So I look at these tests they have slated for my immediate future and while I’m a little anxious, I will tell you what I told my daughter–I’m not going anywhere. You can’t kill me. And, please, put me in a good nursing home someday.

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