I met two cancer survivors yesterday.
After months of not being called to help I was asked twice in one day. This used to happen more often. Someone would ask if I would talk to another person or to them about my experience. I am grateful to share my experience, strength and hope with anyone who asks. So many women helped me along the way. They helped me with dealing with my own diagnosis. They helped me with raising my kids in the midst of cancer treatment and multiple surgeries.
These women have something in common besides being moms, wives and breast cancer survivors. They have gone through it in the midst of a global pandemic.
One was diagnosed in January and has had five surgeries since. She is a mom of two one in high school and one in college. She is doing great but got a boost from meeting me, the 11 year so far cancer survivor. The same way I love it when I meet someone with more time than me.
The other was also diagnosed in the last year and had a reaction to chemo so she had to stop. She has three children under the age of 10 and today she’s going for a further test because they saw some thing on a scan. As you read this please send up a prayer for this woman. Something along the lines of “please protect her and her family.”
I know how it is to be her. Many memories came flooding back. Of going for a lung biopsy and thinking the good news would be tuberculosis. Of it being late in the year and wondering if this would be another Christmas with cancer. I was lucky and it wasn’t cancer or tuberculosis.
No time is a good time for a cancer diagnosis but during a worldwide pandemic is something altogether different.
You have to do it all alone.
Because of the risk of Covid no one sits beside your chemo chair. No one gets to wait in the waiting room while you have your surgery. You walk in alone.
Ultimately everything you do as a cancer survivor you do alone. No matter how much someone loves you they can’t do it for you. Every time I went through that last door before surgery I had to give up control. I had to allow myself to put myself in the hands of my doctors and nurses and know I could not control my outcome.
Talk about letting go.
So today when you have a minute send up a prayer for all the people dealing with deadly diseases who are going through treatment and surgeries and have to walk through those doors alone.
In this time of isolation we all need a sense of community and if we cannot give it in person we can give it through social media, phone calls, emails, and texts. It is vital for survival of all of us that we reach out to each other and just check in. Cancer survivors rely on community among survivors –we have to because if you haven’t been through it you don’t know and we wouldn’t want you to. There is only one way to get that information and it is by personal experience.
Anyone can help though. You can reach out and it will be appreciated. Because cancer sucks, but it really sucks when you can’t grab Starbucks with a friend or chat in the pick up line at school.
Take a minute to connect.
Take a minute to send a positive thought to everyone and especially those going through something difficult whatever that may be.
We may not be fine, but we are doing the best that we can. And we can all do better.