I have not written much lately. It may be a sign of my avoidance. Sometimes, writing and talking about cancer is also exhausting. Sometimes, it feels like reliving it and too much of a preoccupation. Cancer has weaved itself into my being and unwilling to abandon me much like the love and support of my friends and family.
And life is a complete package of good and the bad. I work on accepting both simultaneously as I hold on to some and let go of some.
I have been busy with the rest of my life. My family, kids and the new found freedom of not having patients to care for. I miss being a doctor very much but I also realize that being a doctor is not confined to the office. Healing is a 24/7 profession that is also incorporated in me as a person. I just don’t get paid in money for it but lots in kindness and gratitude which are the biggest gifts of all.
Recently I have been running into my patients too often on my trips to restaurants and store and wonder if it’s a sign for me to know that they are okay. We often think of ourselves as irreplaceable as people but time and time again, I have seen and experienced that we are all dispensable. I am too. Perhaps not for my kids and husband but generally, life will go on without me.
It’s a comforting thought…knowing that life will keep moving forward.
It always does. Just as those who left us after the shooting in Orlando. Heartbroken as I am, I also know that no matter how big the grief or loss is, we have no choice but to find our inner strength and keep marching and keep pace with this thing that we are trapped in, the perpetual march of life.
Tomorrows can only be better if todays are valued. With incurable cancer, today is what I have.
And today is what life offers you as well.
We all want a better future, devoid of hatred and bigotry. I do too. I may not be around to see what I plant today, to see it grow and thrive to maturity.
Not working for a better future is the loss of ultimate hope.
Life expects all of us to be hopeful. I am too, in so many different ways.
I wish peace to all as we deal with a national tragedy.
I stand by all oppressed and distressed in this moment of grief.
But I remain hopeful. I remain grateful.
I love your writing as always, Uzma Yunus. Reminds me of something Ghandi said- “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.” We are all small beings in a big world, in a huge universe. But, you can be a beautiful and compassionate small thing who loves and who is loved. Who knows how much we matter? I am dispensable too. It is with our family and friends and particularly with our children that we are unreplaceable. We have a legacy there. We can affect the future through them. The love never dies. This is the beauty of our lives. Keep marching on with that. Keep writing but perhaps every entry doesn’t have to discuss cancer or even mortality. It is exhausting for you. I have no doubt. I have never been in your shoes but I cared for my mother who had terminal cancer. It is so hard to be immersed in that world everyday. I hope you are well. I always read your work and I believe you have a gift for writing.
You do indeed have a gift for writing. And for loving. It makes a difference.
Better take few days off…..
I love your posts and have shared them with my family on several occasions. I just wanted to say that you do make a difference. I wish you many more wonderful times with your family and I thank you for the reminder to be grateful everyday.
Beautifully said, honest and true ! xoxo
Uzma, I am a colleague of your husband so I have some knowledge of what your going through, through him. In fact during your first battle, my wife was going through her first experience with breast cancer as was another colleague’s wife. The three of us guys, laughed at ourselves how with so much training in behavioral health (two MDs and one PHD) we still messed up at times in providing the best support to the woman we loved. All are human and therefore we are frail both physically and psychologically. I love your writings and your frustrations with physicians, well meaning friends and strangers. My wife has experienced the same. This is not just a disease it is a personal affront to the individual that messes with life, love and the desire of a future. A little sensitivity would certainly be helpful. My wife thankfully is almost two years beyond the treatments and so far so good. I certainly pray that you can have an outcome that allows for the belief of the future. My wife has embraced life fully, but always knows that cancer is like the relative that leaves some clothes in the guest room closet after the visit, just in case they come back. And you never know when they will come back. Rest, recover and know that we are praying, and standing with you during this most challenging period in life.
Dennis & Sharon Derr
Thank you so much for this heartfelt comment. This lifted my spirits so much. Things are looking up with some minor bumps in the road that I am dealing with right now. I so appreciate the support, best regards , Uzma