Some of you noticed my post yesterday on Facebook and contributed to my cause. Words are not enough to thank you. As I said in my post, to be brutally honest, it was a terribly sad weekend. Actually, it's been a terribly sad month for my circle of friends known as Survivors. We have a special bond. It's unexplainable but oh so strong. Some things are unsaid but understood. We share that lump in our throat feeling. That's the best way I know to describe it.
When one of us hurts, I think we all hurt. When a person is newly diagnosed, we mourn. When cancer metastasizes, we cry. We know we are all one hair away from a new diagnosis ourselves, & when one of us hears her name called, it's like serving time, taking a turn, paying dues… only it's fighting for life. None of us can predict the outcome, & with a diagnosis comes overwhelming decisions which must be made. These decisions are not about what I'd like to have for dinner or which dress I should wear to the banquet. No these decisions are, "Should I proceed with treatment? What about immunotherapy? What should I tell my children?"
These decisions are difficult. No amount of preparation in the world allows you to be ready to face such cruelty. You instantly have an electrical current running through your body. Those dreaded words which have haunted you over & over suddenly, strangely become your new reality. You've already fought it once or twice, so here's to one more fight. Here's to surgery; here's to chemo. Here's to a deep lump in your throat, & one very heavy heart. "Why me? Why not me?"
As Survivors, we do our best to encourage one another, but sometimes we don't even know what to say or do. We are helpless to help another soul. We are broken for them, but we are as clueless as the rest of the world as to how to meet their devastating needs. We can make a meal, offer words of encouragement which seem so inadequate. We can send flowers, or sit with the patient during treatment. We are limited because we can't make their world right. We know how wrong it is, but we cannot make it right. It's unfair. It's unpredictable. It's rotten.
If we have faith in God above, we pray. With or without faith, we worry. With faith, we may feel more at peace with our eternity, but still, we leave behind our loved ones. We just don't know what to do about that. It's seems so unfathomable, so cruel, yet it's not up to us. It is out of our control. Yet we feel we must take measures to ensure the future of our children. Will our husbands remarry? Many of them do. Will our children be well cared for, loved, by their new parent? Someone else will step into my place & do the things that I was supposed to do. I'm not sure how I feel about this. Oh such mixed emotions!
As the sun goes down, we quietly lay our head upon our pillow. Tears stain our cheeks, but it is dark so no one can see. We feel so alone, even if the person in our bed is snoring. We feel so alone even if we are cared for & loved beyond measure. Even if we know our spouse would not trade us for the world, we feel alone. Our survivor friends keep us in touch with reality, but they cannot ease our emotional pain or heal our sick bodies. No, they can hold our hand & pray, but they are as helpless as we, and they are one hair away.