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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Cliches and Unsolicited Advice

The beauty of my blog is that little to no thought goes into what I write. I wait until I have a moment and then just go ahead and dump the contents of my head onto a blank page. Not sure if this is standard blogging protocol, but based on my non existent readership, I'd say that this probably isn't the best way to go about things. Of course, this changes nothing and I will now dump my latest reflections.

I have been on this cancer journey for 3 months now. Unfortunately, it continues to throw me curve balls. After talking with and reading about people that have also been on this journey, I have come to the conclusion that these curve balls are just par for the course. It is just part of getting to travel this road. I will pause now and reflect upon the ridiculous number of cliches that I have just used to describe having cancer. Which leads me to my next thought, cancer is a really really uncomfortable thing to talk about. It makes people nervous. Those that don't have it, have no idea what to think about it and honestly find the whole idea very uncomfortable. Those that do have it are very aware of this since at some point they were in the 'don't have it' group, so they go out of their way to put a positive spin on everything and use words like 'journey' and 'road' to try and make everyone feel better. I am pretty sure that it doesn't work. No one is fooled by these ridiculous words. Cancer is not a journey or a road; it is a disease. And, since we are being honest here, it is a life threatening disease that doesn't always end well. I have this disease, and even though I don't plan on having it for long, I still have it. Even though I plan on fighting and doing what it takes to heal, I still have it. Even though I believe that God loves me and can heal my body, I still have it. Even if I choose to put a positive spin on it, I still have it.

What are we all supposed to do then? Being that I am not a licensed psychologist with a specialty in grief counseling, I can only give my humble opinion. Those of us with cancer need to be honest about our 'journey', and those without it need to come alongside and 'just be' available... a lot. Let us know that it is okay that we are overwhelmed and scared. That we don't have to always get it right, just so one day we can write a brilliant and inspirational memoir that, let's be honest, will only make others struggling with cancer feel like crap. Basically, just give us the space to breathe through this messy situation, knowing that some days we will be better at it than others. Don't forget that although you may soon become bored with this 'project', the person with the disease doesn't get that luxury and that they can't afford to go through this alone. I guess what I am trying to say is the person with cancer has to wake up each day and face a strange new existence; it would be nice if they had a few familiar faces waiting there on occasion.

3 comments:

  1. As always, you touched my heart...I know what you mean about people getting "bored with the project of your illness"....in the end, much of that road has to be walked alone...there is that cliche again:) but someone still walking quietly with you can mean so much. I will remain signed up for the journey with you.

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  2. Hello Tansy, My sister in law Janice introduced me to your story and your blog. She knew I recently found out that a dear female friend and also a male friend have been diagnosed with cancer within days of each other. Thanks for sharing from someone who is going through this disease and can speak directly to how to comfort or be there for those going through this disease. It is sometimes very hard to know what to say or not say and same with what to do or not. My friend is in my small group at church and we share hosting the group twice a month. I had just assumed she would not want to host anymore and was trying to take this burden away from her, but she wants to maintain as much normalcy as she can while she can. So we all met at her house last night. I realized I need to leave it up to her when she wants to host and not assume for her. She was very gracious about letting me know her feelings on this.
    Also with the male friend, I was made more aware of what his wife is going through with his disease. I have not seen her in a few weeks as my husband and I had been out of town for several weeks when they were both first diagnosed. But he came to SS yesterday and wanted her to stay home to get rest and be alone for awhile. ((Initially I had wanted to know why she did not come and he did). Through his so amazing testimony of how he is approaching his cancer, I really became aware of what his wife is going through and will contact her this week to hopefully get together with her. (We also do not live in the same town so a little distance away but we do attend church together). So with seeing how God is working through them and reading your blog, I am much more aware of how to approach people with cancer. Thanks for being so honest and making me aware of not becoming bored with the "project".

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    1. Paulette, I am glad that Janice recommended my blog to you. It helps to know that my words aren't wasted. I am sorry that you have friends going through this. I think that you have a genuine desire to help and encourage. Regardless if you always get it right or not, just being there is the most important thing. Praying for all of you as you go through this together.

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