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Sunday, November 8, 2015

What have I learnt ????

Ok, so only three days in and I have already missed a day.....this blog may actually last longer than exactly 365 days but 'oh well'.    Since being diagnosed in 2001, and going through all the things I have, 'oh well' has been my mantra for awhile now.   One thing I have learned is that the world keeps revolving whether or not I am ready and able.   BC (before cancer) I was one of those people that would almost kill herself trying to fulfill all the things I had promised to.....even when no one would notice.   I really believed that the world couldn't possibly function without my participation!!!!!

I am no longer that person, and this is a good thing.

So I have decided that my Day 3 writing will be some of the things that I have learnt about dealing with the world, that would have made the 41 years prior to cancer so much more enjoyable.

Day 3 -   We are important, but we are not indispensable!    There is a very big difference between these two words and perceptions .      Yes, we are an integral part of our family, our friends, and our community.   Take us out of the mix and none of these groups would be the same.    They are who they are because of our being a part of them.     But they would exist in a different form without us.  Maybe not as wonderful as we believe they are with our presence, but they would exist.  

This is was a very humbling realization for me.   Not that I think I am indispensable, just that I used to live like I was.   I believed that if I didn't show up, if I didn't do something, if I wasn't present somewhere, the world would not be able to function    I mean I still believe I can improve on anything going on, but it will still happen.   Sort of like when you become a mother and you think that you child can not be without you, and then you drop them off at daycare for the first time and they kiss you, wave and say goodbye.    When you pick them up they are thrilled to see you , and want to go with you, but you find out they had a great day without you......hmmmmm   a very humble moment !

So, as we deal with our illness, we need to rest assured that all the things we did before will get done.   Maybe not the same way, or what we believe to be the best way, but they will get done.    Children will thrive, albeit with challenges that hopefully will give them strength to live in this world more aware of others, friends will go places without you but you will never be far from their thoughts, and work....well they'll find someone else to do it.   Housework will never get done exactly as you may want it , but it will get done, or you learn to see dust as marking the passage of time.    Life will continue, differently, but it will.   The key is to somehow see the changes as expanding our horizons, opening up relationships, using time for more important things.  

The biggest change for myself was to see dependence as less of a weakness, and rather a gift to allow others to do more for be the strong one so that they can receive the blessings that  it brings.   I loved helping people, being there for people, but never wanted to allow others the same opportunity.   Now, it is still hard, and I don't always do it, but I am more likely now to stop and see if maybe someone can help me.   Especially, now that I can't walk, asking people to drive me has taken a lot out of me but it has made me realize how much my friends and family love me.   I mean now more than ever they have the excuse to not have me around.  They could invite me to something and realize I can't make it and leave it at that.   They haven't though.   I always am invited and a ride is supplied.....guess they actually enjoy my company!

It is hard for some around us to watch us change.  I remember my daughter telling me years after my first diagnosis that she didn't know where her mother had gone.   The person in the hospital bed looked like me, but seemed so much weaker and dependent that she couldn't recognize me.    Since then, she has felt like she is important in my life because of what she can do and be for me, and I have learnt to appreciate how capable she truly is.    So we are not the same, and we are not indispensable, but we are very very important to one another in a wonderful, loving relationship.

Cancer makes a mess of so much of our lives.    Sometimes its good to recognize the potential we have found because of the disease.    I do not believe cancer is a blessing, which I have said many times over the years, but I believe in the midst of such a horrific situation there are glimmers of lights to be found.

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