I recognize that I have a somewhat unusual perspective about cancer and brain injury. Many people suggest that cancer and brain injury are terrible and should be eradicated at any cost. Please allow me a moment to explain why I disagree. There are many undeniable downsides to cancer and brain injury (including the possibility of depression, aphasia, paralysis, removal of body parts, and death), but there are also many benefits (including the possibility of happiness, a new beginning, a new perspective on life, a renewed spiritual belief, and a sense of purpose). I am not suggesting that cancer or brain injury will be a great experience for everyone. Nor am I suggesting that everyone should go out of their way to obtain a life-threatening cancer, brain injury, or adversity. However, I do believe that if you have any form of life-threatening injury, illness, or disease there are benefits that should not be overlooked.
I offer the following two examples that occurred several years prior to the discovery and treatment of my cancer and brain injury. I recognize there is a possibility that I had un-diagnosed cancer and brain injury at the time of the following events, but let’s not allow an unknown possibility disrupt the explanation.
While I was talking with a friend recently, I was reminded about an event that took place more than 10 years ago. The requirements seemed simple – while house sitting for a weekend, I needed to keep the house clean and prevent the two teenage daughters from killing each other or destroying their mom’s house. Everything was going well until Sunday afternoon when I loaded the dishwasher, added soap to the dishwasher tray, and started the machine. An hour or so later, when I returned to empty the dishwasher, I saw a thick layer of bubbles covering a significant portion of the hardwood floor. I was not planning to host a rave. You guessed it . . . I used the wrong type of soap.
Several years later, while washing my clothes at another house, bubbles from the washing machine overflowed the utility sink and spilled onto the utility room floor. Unfortunately, the homeowner was not out of town and she discovered the problem before I did. In my defense, I had never seen a washing machine that drained through a utility sink and I did not know how to use the machine. It never occurred to me that there might be a difference between machines I had used, and one I had never seen. If you guessed that I used too much soap, you are correct.
I shared the two stories because they support my belief that I am better off now than before the cancer and brain injury were detected. I made mistakes with a dishwasher and washing machine prior to brain injury because I was not taught the proper skills in elementary school, junior high school, high school, college, or graduate school. However, because I spent years in cognitive therapy post cancer and brain injury, I have not made similar mistakes. Therefore, cancer and brain injury are directly responsible for the improvement in my dish washing and clothes washing skills.
Even though there may be a flaw or two in my reasoning, the fact remains there is no point being upset about something you cannot change. Simply smile about what occurred in the past and work toward a better tomorrow.
Thanks to DIYAdvice.com for the picture of a washing machine that drains to a utility sink.