Monday, February 22, 2010


I've been struggling to compose this post for days now, but being that I've become unusually apathetic about my blog recently, I think I'll just settle with what is here. Forgive my sloppy, incoherent bouts of whininess.

Recently, I received the devastating news that my sweet mother has been diagnosed with breast cancer. As I sat listening to my mother give us the grim details, I forgot to breathe or swallow for at least a minute, and did everything I could do keep it together in the company of a best friend and family. But as soon as I was alone in my car, the reality of the situation sunk in and it got messy.

I've wrestled with myself concerning the matter, asking myself whether telling a lot of people would be beneficial. For those few friends that know and love her, it's a no-brainer, but with newer friends, I find it constantly prying its way into nearly every conversation, begging to be unveiled, yet I've suppressed it thoroughly. Subconsciously, I think I want to talk about it, hear reassuring statistics about the disease, even gain a bit of attention. I desire sympathy, yet never allow anyone an opportunity to give it. Nothing new, I guess.

After several lengthy, in-depth and emotional conversations with my mom since she broke the news, I have definitely received a great deal of hope. The tumor is categorized as "Stage 2," meaning it is young and, fortunately, very treatable. She will undergo surgery sometime in March and after a complete recovery will begin the long and painful process of Chemotherapy.

Imagining my own mother without hair, eyebrows or eyelashes is unbearable. Picturing the countless hours of illness, sleeplessness and pain she will endure is devastating. This all comes at a time when my mom has been facing heartache and depression over two of her children: my eldest brother who has become somewhat estranged from the family due to his overbearing and spiteful wife, and, of course, me and my gayness.

Due to the latter issue, my mother and I's relationship has become a bit strained over the past year, and I feel a deep sense of guilt for not inviting her into my life more. If she were to die over the coming months, which is a very real possibility, I would be stricken with such regret, reminding myself that I was one who closed myself off from her, dodging the prying questions she has repeatedly directed my way. I dodge because I want to spare her the pain of knowing everything isn't okay, my testimony isn't as strong, and I'm not as hopeful as I make myself out to be. I want her to sleep at night.

My mom and I have always been very close, closer than some of my other siblings, in fact, and I have always considered her one of my best friends. I'm so sad for her and am absolutely terrified for these coming months. I guess I should expect the worse, but hope for the best. Story of my life.

***Update as of February 25, 2010:
Things were actually looking quite bright and hopeful, and I was pretty proud of myself for not dwelling on the negative. Then today happened. It seemed everyone I talked to about breast cancer today-- an aunt, an old high school friend, the internet-- introduced new layers and unsettling facts about the disease. There are numerous complications that can occur during the mastectomy, even during recovery, and depending on where the lumps are located, there might even be some that can't removed. I also learned stage 2 isn't exactly something we should be cheering about. That's stage 1. Stage 2 can potentially be fatal, as the tumors are wide enough to cause problems.

In other words, today wasn't the best day for my spirits, and even though I slept in, only had one class, and ended the evening with a choir concert, I have been feeling the severity of the turbulent test before my mother and our family, and let me tell you, it's weighing me down. Pray for me, but most of all, pray for her.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Losing a folded piece of fake leather with a few bucks and some plastic cards inside shouldn't be so devastating. People lose wallets; wallets get lost. Just like wedding rings, cell phones, car keys, or chapstick-- we exert so much energy keeping track of such "valuables" that the moment we realize they're gone, a nagging feeling of defeat washes over us. Or at least, that's how I remember it.

It's awfully ironic I lost my wallet last night. My wallet protects much of my identity: my driver's license, my school ID, my debit card, my membership cards, my expired temple recommend, my $15 dollar gift card to Cinemark Theaters... For last night also happened to be a night I faced other identity woes and discretely wiped away silent tears in the back of a car full of friends.

As you've probably noticed from careful readings of my blog, I fall into the pit of self-pity, the den of despair! the grotto of grief!! about once a month (hence, me posting once a month). I would be lying if I said I didn't have days in between when I'm emotional, sensitive, bitter, angry or jealous, but every 4.5 weeks I am routinely bludgeoned by "Dark Day:" a period of roughly 24 hours when I am reduced to an inconsolable mess of emotions, upheld by frail and wobbly limbs, keeping me sustained just enough to wallow in my own suffering. Last night might've brought a lighter shade of "Dark Day" (maybe a charcoal, even an ash gray), but this morning I'm still weak, still recovering slowly.

My identity is so strained. I feel downright exhausted from stretching myself so thin-- I still keep a toe here and a toe there, but the here and there are growing further and further apart. I want them both, but can't commit to either. I find myself running in circles, finding a resolve, loosening my grip on that resolve, and eventually abandoning it all together.

I've lost desire and motivation to keep commandments-- I have managed to skip church two weeks in a row and yesterday I drank a latte. I'm still unequivocally in love but hate myself for getting in his way, for being the source of much of his pain, regret and sorrow. I've lost my faith in so many things, and as a result, have lost such balance. I've lost touch with wonderful friends but have lost interest in rekindling their friendships. I've lost sight of Jesus, and now, I've lost my wallet.

If you don't hear from me for a couple days or weeks, it's because I've boarded Oceanic Flight 815, and if all goes according to plan, I've gotten myself perfectly lost on an isalnd free of expectations (but certainly not free of mystery, intrigue and adventure!). I've started over.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My 4-year-old nephew made me something special during our holiday Lego party...
Best. gift. ever.