When my mom was given the diagnosis of cancer, it had spread and her health sped to a downward fall. As the doctors explained the situation, I knew by their faces her prognosis was grim. I asked, “What are her chances?” The oncologist replied, “There aren’t any, she will die and soon.” Two weeks later she was gone.
A year later, my dad was arrested stemming from what would be a chronic ongoing battle of addiction. The admission of it revealed years of a hidden war with himself and mistakes beyond repair. I asked his therapist, “What is the chance he will relapse?” I think I knew relapse was inevitable, I wanted to here the percentages. For some reason, I needed to hang on the 60% chance he wouldn’t return to the addiction that had destroyed his life and most of mine.
Then along came Bipolar. I was diagnosed while my dad was in jail serving out his mandated sentence. My family wanted to think it was reaction to the showck of my dad’s behavior. The psychiatrist said many people are diagnosed during a stressful event. For years you are able to prop yourself up and keep a hold on the disease. Along comes crisis and everything falls a part. I wanted to know my chances. Will the medication make it go away? Nope, it was mine now. Relapse would be chronic. Remission depends on correctly taking medication, remaining accountable through a doctor and therapist, and recognizing the signs. My chances are better if I am constantly aware of the triggers that hold me blind.
Next, came my husband’s illness. I stood against a wall in his doctors office sobbing as he went over the results of tests taken only the day before. The diagnosis what kidney failure. There is no chance of cure, only treatment options. Transplantation and dialysis were the only given opportunities. We chose the transplant. We are 4 years into a deceased donor placed kidney. The statistics say that kidney has a chance of living about 8 years with rejection always hovering waiting to pounce.
That is my future and those are my chances. Pretty poor future, huh? Currently, my dad has relapsed, mania is beating at my door, I miss my mother terribly, my husband has the flu, and I am thinking if I don’t start holding on the positive side of my chances I will fall head first into a major depression.
Franklin Roosevelt said, “When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” I have never been great at tying knots. I’ll take my chances with what I can do. I still have some rope left, I won’t let go.