Fair is fair - right?

by Hilla Duka


That’s what we teach our kids. Either all you gets ice cream, or none of you get ice cream. If he got to play on the computer then your turn will come. Because fair is fair. And when they lash out at us and through tantrums because something's not fair, we do our best to make it fair. If everyone in your class really does have a cell phone then maybe I should get you one. But life isn’t fair, not even in the slightest. Right now, I’m trying so much not to let my kids see how hard I’m fighting to give them something they’ve never even thought they would not have - me.


Fair isn’t fair, we’re all born with different preconditions, different potentials, different challenges. And for some of us, life throws a lot, while for others it seems more of a smooth sailing. But even I - at the age of thirty five, will break down in tears and rage at the world about how unfair it is. And it’s true, it is. Breast cancer is like a game of russian roulette - it strikes out of nowhere, and it doesn’t care that you’re young, that you have kids that need you, that you’re kind of healthy. It’s not fair, but it’s life, and the only thing we can really do is deal with what life throws at us, stop whining that it isn’t fair, and get on with things. Maybe that’s what we should be teaching our kids instead?


I try very hard to believe with all that’s in me, that I will be the miracle patient. That I’ll go into remission, and just stay there, for years and years. And that then there will come a way to kill metastases: cancer won’t be incurable anymore, and I’ll go on to become a little old lady. I want that scenario to be true. But I also know that that might not be the case, that indeed it isn’t the likely case at all. And if that’s not going to happen, then I want to have made the best of the time I had. I want to have been the best me I could possibly be. Actually, I want that even if I get to be a little old lady.


I want to have left a mark, to have done some good. And so I start with myself, and I tell myself not to mope around that life isn’t fair, but to do something instead. I watch myself for those unworthy thoughts that sometimes creep into my head, and I work at being a better, nicer, kinder person. If this whole trip doesn’t go the way I want it to, I want my kids to remember, if not my voice or what I looked like, then the sound of me laughing, the feeling of me hugging them, how I would always tell them how proud I am of them. I want them to know that I worked at being a better person, and that this is a legacy I would like them to continue in their own lives. I want them to know how sacred a life is, and how I fought to stay with them.


Fair is not fair, but no-one knows the future. Maybe I will be that miracle patient. Maybe I won’t. One thing I do know, and that is that this whole experience has changed me, and I think for the better. I believe I’m a nicer person now than before I got the diagnosis, and that’s worth something, to me. Life may not be fair, and maybe we’d do well to teach our children that, rather than shield them from it all. But life will hand you good things and bad, and if we learn to take the punches when they come, maybe we can enjoy the good turns better, when they come? Because they do come.


The picture above is taken at Gröna Lund earlier this summer, before we knew anything about cancer, and the challenges facing us. Just a simple, beautiful day with the kids, all of us happy and carefree...



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