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Yesterday morning I was in the midst of some regular really frustrating life stuff when I got a message from our Oncologist.  He had an update on Trey’s treatment options.  What could that be?  Was it good news?  Bad?  Clear?  Murky?  Rachel was not available so we’d have to wait to call him back.  THEN…then, the bomb dropped.  A 1-800# appeared on a call which I (habitually) ignored.  The message came on.  It was HEALTHCARE.GOV!!!   I had dreaded even the thought of “registering in the marketplace.”  The message stated that they have been notified that one (or more) of the people in my house MAY be losing our coverage and we should call them back to be assisted in getting started in preparing to register for the Affordable Care Act through the “marketplace.”  We have received nothing from our insurance provider so for now, we are waiting.  Nonetheless, it was a very, very, frustrating morning.

I relayed this to a loved one who said something we hear a lot.  They said, “Wow, that is overwhelming.  I have a phone call this afternoon that is going to be uncomfortable but talking to you has helped me put that into perspective.”  They were comforting me and we continued our conversation.  However, throughout the day THEIR conversation burdened me.  I felt bad that they had to go through with whatever that phone call was going to be.

I have always said that perspective is overrated.    However, it occurred to me last night it is far worse than that.  Imagine, you’re having a bad day.  Someone (rather than giving you good comfort…or any for that matter) tells you that someone else has it worse.  You are supposed to feel better?  Think about it though.  This is not comfort, it’s much much worse.  It is actually a distorted veiled cousin of making fun of someone to make you feel better about yourself.  Really.  You feel bad, someone…somewhere is going through something worse.  So, you are to feel better?  Little Jimmy feels bad about himself and belittles Suzy and calls her fat and everyone laughs.  Now he feels better?  A stretch?  Maybe, but that is why I call it a “veiled cousin.”  At best you feel better because someone is suffering more than you.  At worst, you now feel bad for them and still have your hurt to deal with.  No good, nope, no good at all.

Not to bury the lead.  I eventually spoke with our Oncologist.  We are scheduled to go to Philly on the 6th of Feb. to discuss two treatment options.  One is the MIBG therapy.  It is a process of giving him SEVERE amounts of radiation over a couple day period.  It will do next to nothing (my words not theirs exactly but it is accurate) on his major tumor(s).  However, it will do a good job on all of the microscopic and small calcifications.  This would entail us being their for the better part of a week but would be horrible for him for the actual therapy where he would have to be alone in a room.  We could go in maybe once or twice…maybe, all the while wearing a super leaded suit of armor (I exaggerate).  It would also ravage his body for at least a while.  The 2nd option is participating in one of perhaps a couple phase 1 (brand new, never done on kids before) studies/therapies that would entail us being there for at least most of the month for as long as we are in the therapy/study.  Ugh, no good.  However, we at least have to go and hear them out…I suppose.

So, thank you for praying.  Thank you for caring.  Do me a favor and feel bad for the crap in your life as well as the crap in oursWe all have stories and all any of us have is today.

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