It’s a common greeting in most cultures, usually meant to elicit a simple response. It throws people off if you answer with more than one or two words, which makes it difficult to know what to reply when someone asks you in the midst of a crisis. It seems appropriate to say a bit more, but nobody’s really signing on to be your therapist. During my son's first go ‘round with cancer, I would say, "we’re doing ok" or "hanging in there," but I changed my answer after he relapsed.
It's like that joke where a man falls from a skyscraper. Someone calls out from one of the windows as he passes, “How’s it going?”
The falling man says, “So far, so good.”
That has been my 'go to' answer this time around.
When your child is diagnosed with cancer, you feel like you are falling from a building. You hope and pray that the ground is a lifetime away, but you just don’t know.
So my pastor calls me the other day, and asks me to say something poetic about our cancer journey, expressing our thankfulness. At first, all I could think was, how do I talk about thankfulness, when I’ve been falling from a building? When I’ve watched other families hit the ground? What could I say?
Then the punch line came back to me. I’ll say, “so far, so good.”
I’m thankful that my oldest son was able to donate his marrow.
I’m thankful that the bone marrow transplant was successful, without serious complications.
I’m thankful my son and my husband were able to come back home before the holidays.
I’m thankful that he’s off most of the medications.
I’m thankful that his one year tests were clear, and that he gets to start school in the fall.
I’m thankful for the support of this community, family, and friends.
So far, so good.
One thing this experience has taught me is - you can’t focus on the ground.