When I was about eight, my mom took me to see some specialist at some big-shot hospital. (I can’t for the life of me remember what was wrong.) While I was at that hospital, I saw a little boy about my age, but he didn’t look like any of the boys in my class. He didn’t have any hair, and he was sitting in a wheelchair hooked up to a bunch of IV’s. I asked my mom what was wrong with him, and she pulled me aside and told me he had cancer. Up to that point, I thought only old people got cancer. I asked my mom if that little boy was going to die. She didn’t say “no, he’ll be fine.” She said, “Yeah, he might.”
I cried my eyes out on the way home from the hospital. I wasn’t crying because some nurse had just taken a dozen tubes of my blood. I was crying because I had just learned an excruciating life lesson: life is not fair and sometimes shitastic things happen.
I’m going to be honest: life is not being fair to me right now. I have an autoimmune disease called endometriosis, which came out of remission last year. Autoimmune means the disease is not a virus or bacteria. It’s my own cells going wackaloony, like a malfunctioning smoke alarm that won’t shut up even though there’s no fire. When you have a disease that’s made of you, things get complicated in terms of trying to find effective treatments.
My endo is not going away quietly, to say the least. I won’t go into all the details about my symptoms and treatments on here, but I’m tired of hiding my emotions about the whole thing. This has been freakin’ difficult because there is no solid explanation of why shit happens. I don’t know why some people die young, and some people get diseases that don’t kill them but make their lives a living hell. I don’t know why natural remedies aren’t the cure-all that some people claim they are.
Pretty much the only thing I do know with certainty is I didn’t get sick because I’m a failure any more than that boy in the hospital 20ish years ago. I’m not an extraordinarily good or bad person. I’m just a plain old person, and sometimes crap happens to us plain old people and we don’t know why.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Mary lately. (I’m not Catholic, but there is a lot about Catholicism that I appreciate.) If anyone understood the pain of unfairness, she did. Watching your 33-year-old son being brutally slaughtered by an angry mob is about as unfair as it gets. I don’t even care that thinking about Mary is on the Unofficial List Of Things Good Protestants Don’t Do, because this is keeping me afloat right now.