Like Rearranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic

Last night, I visited an old dance acquaintance who will begin fighting for her life. She was diagnosed with an early form of breast cancer at the age of 30 and she begins an intense round of chemo and radiation next week. The prognosis is good, but reminds us all that cancer can strike anyone at any age. (She’s inspired me to be more proactive about self checking.)

Doning a “superman”shirt, she had her hair stylist shave the remaining short red locks in the presence of family, friends, and co-workers. And in true form, she took part in a round of shots with her friends to celebrate the start of her long journey ahead.

Part of her pre-chemo ritual was getting her hair cut and dyed one last time before it disappeared completely. She shared that she felt like she was “rearranging deck chairs on the Titantic;” or performing an action that seems insignificant or pointless in the grand scheme of things.

I understand why she did it though. Sometimes I rearrange my own deck chairs knowing that it really won’t make a difference later. But it’s oddly therapeutic knowing that I can control this one detail for a brief moment before it changes completely.

What are your “deck chairs?” Have you ever washed a car prior to salvaging it? Painted a room in a building, only to see it scheduled for demolition? Or in my case, baked chocolate chip cookies even though I experienced blood sugars over 240 mg/dl for 24 hours straight?

Actually, my current chair is trying to establish good glucose control before jumping into the hormonal imbalance of pregnancy. But I have had chocolate chip cookie days like that. I’ve had conversations with my CDE about not being able to run at the “pregnancy” standard of control before even getting pregnant. Her reply is that it’ll all change when it gets to that point. So, my reply is “why are we doing this all in the first place?”

Guess I’ll keep rearranging my chairs. Or running on my treadmill.

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