My friend and colleague, Kathleen, was misdiagnosed. Her acute leukemia was not that at all. Coming to terms with the dire outcome of that disease, which she did so graciously, was unnecessary. Lymphoma, the correct diagnosis, is a disease that many live "with" for years and years. When you have a chance to live a full life instead of a few months or a year, it requires a different set of adjustments and expectations. I suspect that these adjustments will not be foremost on her mind until her cancer cells are blasted away.
But the cloud of Kathleen's illness had a silver lining. When colleagues, acquaintances and friends heard about her original prognosis, they rallied. Cards poured in. At work we started Team Kathleen to get her work done. Offers to cook, clean, bring meals to this very independent woman who lives on her own were organized. She felt loved by her friends and colleagues in a way she never has before.
Kathleen is one of those people who stays at the back of the room at events where people might shed a tear, knowing she will bawl. Now when all of this is about HER, her tissue consumption is such that we should all invest in Kleenex stock.
Thankfully most of us are not faced with the kind of bad news Kathleen received last month. But how many of us get to find out how much we are loved the way she has?
That is her silver lining.