My Dilemma


Donna Lee

How do I explain my recent lack of columns?  This has been the dilemma I have been dealing with recently.  I know how much I felt the need to write a column, but my life has been so crazy busy it was hard to make time. I work a fulltime job and serve on two lung cancer related boards. My youngest daughter, a high school junior, plays serious lacrosse (she just committed with a scholarship to a D1 school to play in college) so we have constant tournaments, games and clinics all over the east coast.  She just attended two proms. I won’t even go into what that entailed (God help us when it is wedding time).  I have doctor, dentist, plumber and electrician appointments. I deal with laundry, cooking, cleaning, dog, bills, and errands.  I also go to funerals, graduations and first Communion parties.   In other words I am doing whatever everyone else is doing and lucky to be doing so, and because of this I am constantly trying to spend a large portion of my life helping patients and all causes to further research and awareness about lung cancer.

When my feet hit the floor in the morning I go, and honestly I don’t seem to stop.  I have incorporated lung cancer into my life in a positive way, so I guess you could say I am living my life to the fullest.

And that is my dilemma.  I cringe when I write the words you just read. I know what people going through treatment right now will think. UGH, I would want to slap me. How dare I complain, how dare I! However I am not complaining, just explaining.   So, do I not mention why my column has been absent?  Do I just write about other topics?  That is what I wanted to do, I just couldn’t.

I kept coming back to this column and knowing I have to speak my truth or else everything else I say becomes a lie.  But what I do realize is that if I can come to this point six years after treatment, so can you.  There can be a richer rewarding life after going through the looking glass. Carrying the baggage of my cancer and doing whatever I can to make it better for those unfortunate people coming up behind me and for those who won’t make it through, is my truth.

I understand every thought going through patients’ heads, and I can still recall that pain and heart- wrenching sadness.  I guess it’s those thoughts that keep me going every single day- for me and for all of you. My only advice is to focus on you right now.  And know and believe that someday it will be your turn to pay it forward and deal with your own dilemma.