Friday, March 11, 2011

Life's Tragedies

The tragedy in Japan had me glued to the TV. It breaks my heart to know that others are suffering with loss that is absolutely imaginable to me. It is amazing how quickly lives were changed. Many references were made to how the devastation is similar to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Four months after Katrina struck, I volunteered at Kamp Katrina in Long Beach, Mississippi. My life will be forever changed by the four-day experience ~ much like the 3-Day. However, when thinking of the tragedy in Japan, my thoughts weren't focused on the comparison of Katrina and Japan's tragedy, but they were centered on how life's tragedies ~  breast cancer is similar to Japan's devastation.

A tsunami can happen on a beautiful day. The only sign and it is often missed before a tsunami strikes is the water going out ~ like when a women is having a wonderful day until she notices a lump in her breast. While everything seems okay, little does one know that water will return with an unimaginable force that leaves one almost emotionless since they can't believe the devastation unfolding before their eyes. This is similar to the almost emotionless state and uncontrollable feeling when someone hears "you have cancer." There is no control in either situation. The waters then subside, but the aftermath is even more unsettling. The reality of diagnosis sets in, and one is left wondering "Why me, God?".

Tragedy is followed by a clean up and rebuilding process. Following a natural disaster the process includes rebuilding city, and for a woman with breast cancer this process includes the lumpectomy/mastectomy and reconstruction. The next step is the reality of the tragedy. This can often be the most difficult part of overcoming the tragedy. Some survive, some fight a long battle, and and sadly, some lose the life because of the tragedy/cancer.

Thankfully this is when miracles also happen. Miracles come in many forms and can include complete strangers coming together for a common cause. In the city affected by the tragedy of a natural disaster, hope is restored due to a complete strangers selflessness of helping to rebuild a city and lives. And when dealing with breast cancer, miracles happen in 14 cities around the US when complete strangers give hugs, thanks, and words of encouragement for 3-Day participants who have made many sacrifices, so one day we can have a "world without breast cancer." 

Please remember to support those dealing with life's tragedies, such as a natural disaster, health crisis, or emotional turmoil.  Even if you don't think you have much to offer a hug, an attentive ear, or a prayer is often just what is needed.

Hugs and blessings,

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