Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Strength in Numbers

I am a strong person.

I can take care of things.

And I do.  Take care of 'things'.

On Saturday, I met a fellow breast cancer survivor.  She is 8 years free.

She said something that I have been ruminating on.

She said that, during chemo treatment, she wanted to go alone.  All by herself.  To prove to herself that she could do it.  To prove to herself that she was strong.

I was amazed.

In awe.

"Really?  You wanted to go by yourself?"

Her Mother kept asking to go with her, to take her to her treatments.  And, finally, she realized that her Mother needed to go.  For both of them.

She realized that by allowing her Mother to be a part of the treatment, she was letting her 'help'.

I told her how, just in the last three months, I have been brave enough to go see Gerry without Don accompanying me.

As I have been thinking about the simple conversation from Saturday, I realized something.

My strength in cancer, even though I didn't recognize it until just now, may have actually been in my extreme and overwhelming weakness.

Strength in my terror that allowed others to comfort me.

Strength in my tears that allowed others to cry with me.

Strength in being vulnerable enough to put my innermost thoughts (at least some of them...) into my notes...and then allowing you all to read them.

Maybe you all needed to help me almost as much as I needed to be helped.   I don't know.

I do know this:

It is together that we are strong.

Just like links of a chain.

1 comment:

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