Oct. 23, 1999


I'm worrying tonight.

I hate worrying.. it's second on my all-time useless emotion list, behind guilt. (Well, worry might be even more useless but guilt is more destructive, in my opinion.) My mother was a big worrier. The evils that befell her, though, were those she never gave a thought to. Or maybe that proves her point.. she failed to protect herself by worrying about them!

I'm allowing myself a mild worry session just for this evening. There are two main things on my mind:

First, my father's health. He gets test results on Wednesday, and he probably has prostate cancer. That's not necessarily the worst thing, unless it has spread. I looked it up and it's not a very fast-progressing disease, usually, and he has gone for checkups regularly. This time the doctor felt a lump and his PSA test was high. That's the test ALLLLLL men over 50 should have, for screening prostate cancer. After all, even with the dreaded finger test, the doctor can only feel one side of the gland.

One article I read said that some doctors don't even treat elderly patients with this, telling them "something else" will get them first. Nope. Been there, done that, with my mother-in-law. She was even older than Dad, in her late 80's, and it was thyroid cancer. But they didn't take into account that she was strong as a horse and had no other significant health problems. The cancer DID get her, and she died in horrible pain. (Four years ago today, in fact. Maybe that's brewing in my subconscious, too.) Dad (touch wood) is pretty healthy and has a nice wife to look after him. If that doctor tries to slough him off, he'll have ME to deal with, or be swiftly replaced.

Second, I'm worried about a young woman I met recently on IRC. She said today that her live-in boyfriend hit her while shopping. She also says she has nowhere else to go. Bearing in mind the fact that anything said on IRC (chat) has to be taken with a grain of salt, and I HAVE seen out and out misrepresentations, I believe her. She seems to have the classic lack of self esteem, desire to please her boyfriend, and great fear of losing him. WHY is there so much of this going on.. physical and emotional abuse?? Is it just being recognized and reported more now? Are people finally waking up to what's going on, because it's being talked about? If so, that's a healthy sign, but too many women, and men too, are falling victim to it nonetheless.

Thinking about this, I began to wonder, how can a stranger's predicament rank almost as high on my worry scale as my own father's? Am I just trying to distract myself? Perhaps.. but there's anger and indignation at work there too. Certain evils are Necessary or Unavoidable, such as old age, cancers (unless you smoke), acts of God.. others are UNnecessary Evils. There's no reason for people to treat each other that way. And no reason to stick around and let it happen to you.

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