Cancer Brings A Gold Lining

“Every cloud has a silver lining” is an idiom I’ve often heard but never really associated with any specific experience in my life. I’ve probably used the expression in an effort to comfort someone else. The expression has been used repeatedly in response to my story of hair loss and my subsequent creation of the beaubeau scarf. Early-on, I found the expression too dismissive and wanted everyone to know that I’d forego the hair loss and my fashion invention in a minute if I had the option.

Recently, I’ve come across several bloggers using the “silver lining” phrase in reference to their cancer. In the words of one women battling breast cancer, her definition of a SL is “the beauty, joy, fortune, love, happiness that I find in everyday situations since FBC diagnosis. The extraordinary benefit of finding SLs during FBC is that I’ll take them with me long after FBC is Gone. Gone. Gone.”

I was truly touched by the honesty and the insight of these words as she relates a radiation treatment she underwent with her young daughter accompanying her. With my own Mother battling Lymphoma, did I dare search the reservoirs of my mind for my own SL’s? At first the exercise seemed to painful and raw. What!? A silver lining to witnessing your mother battle her terminal illness?

dawn.jpgI’m not going to concede that every cloud has a silver lining or that “even the darkest hour is followed by the dawn.” After years of being subject to dismissive statements, I am slightly jaded when it comes to sugar-coating difficult life experiences with silver linings. I will instead concede that spending quality time with my Mother is more like a “gold lining.” As she battles her Lymphoma with dignity and courage, I am blessed to learn more and more about her with every passing day. At age 89, she is smart as a whip, creative, loving, incredibly generous, caring and still determined to mother and protect her children that are parents and grandparents themselves! There is no doubt that this special time will somehow enhance and better my life for a long time to come.

Susan Beausang,


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