Learning Hard Lessons

One of my mom’s best friends told me to look for the gifts in this. That can totally piss you off if it’s a bad day, but in actuality it is really a helpful and true thing to say. Getting cancer at 30 turned my life upside down and threw all of my best made plans to the wind, or at least delayed them. Some of them for years to come, some of them for months. This is one of the biggest changes my life has gone through so there has to be things to take away from this, learnings and things that made it better.

One of the major things that I’ve gotten from this is that I’m loved. I don’t have the best self confidence or view of myself and it’s been stunning to me how much of you care. Not only that you care, but you care enough to send me cards, thoughtful care packages, visit, registry items, emails, calls, offers of help, etc.

It’s overwhelming proof that I’m not a loner and that there are a lot of people out there that care about what happens to me. I’ve pretty much been smacked in the face with this fact and I think I needed it. I think my life will be better from it.

Of course there have been some people that I thought I’d hear from and didn’t, but I’m letting that go because people don’t always know how to deal with this and also cancer doesn’t cure things, like issues in friendships or distance that’s grown.

Also how can I dwell when I have a tidal wave of caring and well wishes from more people than I ever would have thought would care? Its humbling and a feeling that I’m being lifted up by a crowd of people, like I’m not as along as I feel sometimes in Vermont, but am supported by a village of people that I’ve gotten to know throughout different periods of my life.

I know that me having cancer can make you feel powerless, you can’t cure me and it can seem like you can’t make it better. You do make it better though. Every note, email, letter, card, call, and visit make it better. You are doing something and it’s really important. I have doctors to fix me (like a lot of them). I love the things I get sent or given that I can’t even imagine needing and then realized I did. Some friends in SF sent me a pirate nightlight that projects stars on the ceiling for about an hour and then automatically shuts off. Sometimes I have trouble at night, it’s easy in the dark to drown in worries and thoughts. Now I have the stars to keep me from drowning in the darkness, but I never would have thought to ask for them. There’s the small teddybear which is the perfect size not to be to large when I’m so fragile in a lot of places making it hard to hold things, but is soft and substantial enough to make me feel better holding on when things hurt. There’s the wonder woman cup and the cup of courage that both remind me to be strong, but were never something I would have thought of. There are so many other things too (like my unicorn bouquet, coloring books, books, CDs, wine glasses, etc) that come from my creative, thoughtful, sweet, and strong friends and family.

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Thank you.

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