Wednesday, May 19, 2010

You're Invited...

I had a wonderful conversation with one of my sisters today.  About many things.  So good to really talk.

I asked her if she thought that our family was different now after going through cancer with me.  I asked her if she thought that we knew how to reach out better to others in our midst who were battling cancer.

She said "yes".  She said that she thought that because I had "invited people in" to go through cancer with me that reactions were different.  She said that because I was so "open and willing to answer questions" that our family knew what I needed.

Her words made me stop in my tracks.  



Not really.

I hadn't thought of what I shared as an 'invitation'.

It was more the throwing out of a lifeline, asking, begging, for people to grab the rope and pull me in.  

I was drowning and needed to be lifted out of the quicksand that was engulfing me.

I shared my pain and terror and the details of the photographs and the overwhelming tide of chemo and surgeries and radiation and the nausea and the hair loss and the draining of any energy and the sadness not because I wanted 'my people' to know what I was enduring.  Or because I wanted people to feel sorry for me.  


I shared those things because I knew not what else to do.

I shared those things because, when I laid in bed, the choice was often between more tears or more typing.  

I shared those things in writing because to speak the words was more than I could bear.  And to keep them inside would kill me.

So, there really was no 'invitation'.

But how thankful I am that you RSVP'd.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

One Year, One Lifetime

"...a year ago on mother's day my strong, beautiful, and faithful momma was bald, going through chemo, and just trying to get through each day. now my mom is healthy, cancer free, and living life to the fullest. i am so proud to be her daughter and so thankful for her! i love you, mom!"

My daughter, Rachel, posted this on her facebook today.  As I read it, my heart was thrilled.  I was happy.  My daughter is proud of me.  My daughter thinks I am strong.  She thinks that I am beautiful.  She thinks I am faithful.  She loves me.  She has no idea the import of those words.  They make me cry.  Even now as I sit typing this note, I am teary-eyed.  

And then her words made me think about the last 18 months.  It has been quite the journey.

One year ago.  I was going through chemo.  "Going through" doesn't give the true picture.  I think the word "enduring" is better.

One year ago, I was bald.  I was bloated.  I was oh, so tired.  All the time.  And getting through the day was a struggle.

But now?

Now I am healthy.

Now I am cancer-free.

Now I am living life to the fullest.

Thank you, dear Rachel, for the reminder.

And I am proud to be your Momma.  Oh so very proud.