I don’t really know anyone who is great at asking for help or accepting a compliment. This journey is filled with lessons in those areas. I get that it’s frustrating for my friends – you’ve told me you feel helpless, you just want to do something to help. Someone finally told us – you know, stop saying no when someone offers to bring dinner or do something for you… say yes, thank you, that would be so helpful. Sometimes do it even if you don’t need it. OK, so we’ve started saying yes, and it HAS been so helpful, particularly on crazy infusion days where I’m tired and Dara has to take Julian to a karate lesson. A survivor told me she put together a list of things she could ask others to do and even listed potential people by those tasks. I’m not sure I can go that far, but we are both learning to reach out for help, and to accept it when it’s offered. Thank you for continuing to be there for us. When I first received this massive outpouring of love and support, I really expected it to change. I knew that my close friends would still call and check in all the time, but I am so touched that even my broader network of friends (which includes people I haven’t seen in many years and even some people I don’t know very well) continues to stand firmly by my side, offering words of encouragement and support, and offering to help however they can. Thank you. So if we keep saying no to your offers, make us say yes. Remind me of this blog.
It’s the name calling I can’t quite accept yet. You’ve called me “brave”, “courageous”, “an inspiration”, and last week someone even used “hero”. I don’t feel like any of those descriptors. I’m living the only way I know to live and that doesn’t feel particularly courageous or brave. I think of people like Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela – people who sacrificed so much to stand in their truth. I, on the other hand, am faced with a situation I didn’t choose and am dealing with it the only way I know how. So if I seem uncomfortable with what is clearly a beautiful compliment, you know why now. And remind me to just say thank you. Strong? Sure, I can gratefully accept that one. And if sharing my journey touches even one person, then that brings me great joy. I started this for selfish reasons. I needed to journal in some way because I would wake at night with a million thoughts and I was convinced that putting pen to paper would help me to process through those thoughts (and it does). I also needed a way to update a lot of people on my progress. I always wanted to write and I am finding that while it started as a necessity, I am really enjoying it, and largely because of your feedback I’m now wondering if there is a book in this somewhere. Who knows…? I am open to all possibilities. I am clear this journey is filled with powerful messages and opportunities to learn more about myself. Perhaps adding “writer” to my list of skills is one of them. So thank YOU for inspiring me.