EDITORIAL (Dec. 21, 2016): Putting everything in perspective
Forget piles of glitzy gifts under a tree. Forget frustration built up from battling crowds at store checkouts, dismay over post-holiday credit cards bills and guilt over not getting to every single holiday event.
This year, my family has been given a gift money cannot buy.
In November, my daughter went into the emergency room for bronchitis and croup. An xray of her lungs happened to catch a tumor jutting from her humerus bone. An incidental finding, the doctor said.
When one hears the word “tumor,” dread sinks in. Fear of a cancer diagnosis consumes every waking thought; fear of the unknown takes over.
After six weeks of battling medical records release red tape (a future editorial topic), my daughter received a referral to Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, where a pediatric orthopedic specialist diagnosed her with a benign pedunculated osteochondroma.
In other words, she doesn’t have cancer and the tumor is growing away from her growth plate. It’s not causing nerve or tendon damage. She will have checkups once a year to make sure it continues to cause no problems.
When the doctor told me this, I couldn’t speak as relief flooded through my body. Weeks of holding it together, pretending everything was fine while trying to put out a newspaper during hectic holiday deadlines while short-staffed melted away as the news sunk in.
Relief is one of the most under-rated emotions. It’s glorious.
Going through this with my sweet girl put things in perspective. Everyday complaints, rude people, small-minded remarks and minor discomforts don’t affect me like they once did. Because in the grand scheme of things, they don’t matter.
This holiday season, think before you speak as you don’t know what battles another person is waging. Smile at each other, hug each other, laugh and remember that the small day-to-day annoyances really don’t matter.