The devastation in Japan is unspeakable and horrific. The television shows the same video over and over, tsunami waves rushing over the beach, into villages and beyond. Lives in literal upheaval, with no rhyme or reason as to who survives and who does not. I’m painfully aware again of how brutal life is. Each one of us is at risk every moment of every day. Be it an earthquake or cancer diagnosis, we humans are often at the mercy of forces much greater than ourselves.
It’s easy to watch and feel hopeless; like the world is ending right before my eyes. I feel such sadness and dread…when will it all stop hitting the fan? There’s been a lot of bad news lately: the economy, my health, wars, hurricanes, terrorists, earthquakes, tsunamis. I’m ashamed to say that I feel the weight of it all; despite the fact that most of it isn’t my tragedy to experience. It helps to do something, but what? Besides donating money and praying, we, as cancer survivors, can also add our names to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure petition, which calls upon the Government of Japan to “release all information regarding the tragedy and migrating radiation effects, and to partner with the global cancer community to help protect the long term public health of their people and others around the world.”
Although the news broadcasts are painful to watch, I also see resilience, hope, faith, joy and love – an outpouring of human compassion and spirit. We seesaw between the dread and the hope, the dark and the light – and somehow we survive. I’m afraid to trivialize others’ pain by talking about how it is affecting me, but I don’t know how to avoid it. I’m wondering how it’s affecting you.
Survival > Existence,
Image courtesy of Dani Villanueva