February 3, 2012
TORONTO – It’s difficult being on the other end of bad news. It’s even more difficult when the bad news doesn’t impact you but a loved one. We’ve been through this before – too many times to recount here. But, when it happens to Muni, my life partner, well …
We are one – Muni and I. We may be polar opposites in personality profiles, but we are one – in this journey together through life. So, when cancer attacks one, it also attacks the other. When Dr. Wu said, “unfortunately, it is cancer”, it began a whole new chapter in this journey together.
With my heart pounding through the chest, saying “Nadi Ali” (prayers for help), I held her hand and watched the shock and disbelief in her eyes. “Am I going to die?”, she asked. “It’s variable…”, he said slowly. And then, suddenly, the tables turned and Muni held the doctor’s hand and said “I’m so sorry for you, that you have to give me this bad news”.
And that’s the way its been since the diagnosis. Reality sinking in, compassion stepping up, the thirst for learning clawing its way to the front to take charge. That’s what I admire most about Muni. Her ability to see what is happening to her, feeling it – intensely – and not afraid to express it. But then, turning it into a learning.
Our learning started almost immediately. With iPad in hand, we google’d “Multiple Myeloma” and sorted through all the information and misinformation so that we could properly convey it our many friends and family. Then on to the Myeloma Canada site to download the Patient Handbook and really get to know the enemy as we prepare to fight it.
We are people of faith. To despair is to give up on God. We don’t know why these things happen to us. We must accept and, yes, grieve and get angry if we want to, but as one friend emailed us, “The will of God never takes you to where the grace of God will not protect you.” We have to be courageous and live life fully. And that’s our mission.