This post has taken some thought to write. I still don’t know if I will write it ‘right’. I have rewritten in three times and deleted it.
How people respond to people with cancer could fill books. People say stupid things without thinking and I know they don’t mean ‘ill’ comments. Little play on words there, eh? I think it has been a true education in the exposure of the hearts of others. “It was God’s will.”; “You should count your blessings.” “You must be strong.” “I know exactly how you feel.”
These sayings may be intended to make a cancer patient feel better but in actuality they make us have the opposite effect! You don’t want that. Please avoid cliches! In using those words, you are discounting their feelings…and this isn’t Ross Dress For Less! Our feelings are unique that we have. Healing requires a personal authentic look at what is happening to us. And bringing God into the picture is an explosive thing, especially if we don’t share those beliefs. Don’t witness now, you should have done it years ago if you wanted to or earlier, not now when the loss is fresh. Too many emphasis on blessings early in the healing process denies the grief that needs to be expressed.
I am beginning to think that just avoiding people all together is the only option. Now that is the frustrated person in me talking. People just want you to jump right to wellness and please for “GOD’s” sake do not complain, or express discomfort or have questions about why this is happening to you. They don’t want to hear it. Why can’t people just listen? oh wow, so I practice forgiveness and meditation and try to gently move on past it all. Just taking the next step is enough some days. Left Right Left Right.
The adventures of when life turns left. This was never a truer statement. I am nine months out from my last surgery. I haven’t slept through the night more than three times. I am not taking any drugs to sleep or relax any more. I am fairly relaxed because I exercise each and every day. This habit has taken me a lifetime to get to and now I depend on it…for sanity, for ongoing health, and the overall feeling of wellness.
I am moving forward. I imagine this is the acceptance phase and the moving on. I know this ….what is it?….this experience has changed me. I am more compassionate. Well, pause here for moment. I wasn’t very compassionate at all before. I really feel now. I am more prone to listen. I have friends that are hurting, even if they are not recovering from cancer. One friend has an ongoing bone disease. I am happy to do errands for her or water her plants, or just sit and listen. She has been a rock for me in her own position. We help each other. This has been the greatest gift of cancer, if there has to be a gift. My doctor was right. I am forever changed. and it is good.
One of the things this change has given me, is the ability to more accept people where they are. I definitely am feeling that by accepting myself first, as I am; accepting my own emotions, my own fluctuations, my own foibles, and my own shortcomings. The better friend I can be to myself, the better friend I can be to someone else. Can you understand this?