All of this process has me thinking of so many things. It’s so challenging to be real and truthful about the entire journey because a large chunk of what makes me, me, is just the ‘getting it done-ness’. Things need doing? I do them. People need help? I help them. Someone needs support or a listening ear? I am that person.
It is so challenging to now feel inadequate and weak and to accept help from family and friends as a “doer”.
So as I have been pondering these things and what makes it ‘easier’ to accept help – for me anyways – I thought I would write them down.
1. Don’t be afraid to message me
A text or phone call isn’t unwanted or an inconvenience. Touching base to see ‘what’s up’ or tell me something funny, frustrating, light-hearted or heart breaking is welcome in my day. I find often people feel like they don’t want to bother me, but if I’m not ready for conversation I just won’t reply so don’t worry about that.
2. It’s hard to ask for help, having an offer is much easier
Being in my position makes it clear how hard it really is to ask for help. I get a lot of ‘Just message if you need something’ and I really appreciate them, I truly do. In fact I also find I will do that myself as well; it’s a social habit I think. It shows others that we are willing to help in any way we can.
Unfortunately the deciding of the what and when and what works and what doesn’t, can be a seemingly impossible exhausting task. The ‘I can bring supper Wednesday – does that work?’ ‘I’m coming over to clean your kitchen tomorrow at 2’ or ‘let me come grab the kids for an hour this afternoon’ or even a “would you like a tea” takes a lot of the scheduling pressure off of me, and that feels really good right now.
I am actively working on my ability to receive help from others. This is one of my goals for 2020 given the situation I have found myself in – to become better at asking for and accepting help and not needing to be the person doing the helping. That and delegating to others. Another massive challenge for me. So ultimately I appreciate immensely when people make this simpler by making the choices for me.
Again, if something doesn’t work, I’ll just let people know and it’s easier to provide an alternative to an already set plan.
3. I’m forced to be strong.
This is probably the hardest part. Two small children at home to take care of, a business to run with its own ups and downs, a pandemic, trying to be a reasonable human being and again – accepting help.
Holding a strong face has definitely been easier given that we are on track for a full on cure. But that doesn’t mean that this journey doesn’t come with a f*€% ton of what the h€|| is going on and how am I going to explain this to the kids? Trying to find school and toddler aged explanations for everything, fielding the questions over and over again… it’s a struggle.
Remember that the strong face comes from necessity for the kids ultimately. I am trying to be vulnerable and real but the nature of the roles I find myself in as a mom to young kids and a business owner makes this a pretty lonely journey.
That’s where having such a wonderful support system is amazing. Being able to share the journey and getting everything organized into one spot is so helpful for me.
4. Sometimes things just suck.
Its a hard lesson for me to learn being on the other side of the fence. Yes. We’re treating everything. In the end as long as everything goes to plan I will be cured. But damn it’s going to be a long road. A year of treatment and recovery. Followed by more surgery… I appreciate that the thing we want to do – myself included – is hyper focus on the positive.
Recognizing that this situation blows all around and is a shitty thing to have to deal with helps me keep it real. Trying to validate the ‘this sucks’ and finding balance for the strong and positive is something that I am also working on. It’s really easy to be drawn into being ultra positive, but I truly recognize the importance of empathy and “sitting in the shit” (thank you Brene Brown).
5. It doesn’t have to all be about cancer
Lets just chat – hang out – physically distanced because pandemic of course. Heck, let’s talk about fun things to do in the summer and fall even if we know we won’t get to do them this year. Don’t feel like everything needs to be about my diagnosis. Just because what I am going through “is way bigger” (not my words!) doesn’t mean that I don’t want to hear about your life too! I live this every day and not talking about it can be refreshing.
6. Come over!
As long as you aren’t sick. Come over, I’ll come there. To decrease my risk of infections there is just less out-of-the-house-ness and freedom of thought of where we are going and when. We all go a little stir crazy. I am so grateful to Jill who is able to keep a more stable semblance of normal during this time with the kids – taking them to open air places during the week and generally just being amazing. The weekends are tough for us just with the increased fatigue and more thought required makes for a challenging time in general.
7. I love all the support.
Everything you feel like you’re doing or not doing, if it’s right or wrong to comment, like, or tag. It’s all a-okay by me! This forum is meant to be a community. Share with me, find something interesting? Post it. Feel like showing me a funny meme? Do it!
Alas. Enough pondering for now. Thank you to those that are joining me on this journey, I am truly grateful to everyone that is part of my circle during this challenging time in our lives 💕