Thursday, November 27, 2014

I Don't Know How You Do It

Someone said, "I don't know how you do it."

My response?

"You do what feels right, and hope it is."

Monday, November 24, 2014

Things You May Not Realize

So often people try to explain to me the reasons why people don't help. Believe me, I understand and have empathy for where someone might be. I just would ask the same in return. One of the problems, I know, is that many reasons are defense mechanisms. I know people likely feel badly, or are trying not to feel badly. If no one calls things as they are, people have no opportunity to question the things they think they believe.

In my case, my stating things ruffles feathers, but I know on some level it has also helped. We may want to be all correct and positive all the time, but it doesn't serve us in a greater sense. I am only doing what I am doing because I am desperate and in a corner. Otherwise I doubt I would be anywhere near as verbal as I am. As awkward as that is, it might just be a good thing. At least that is what I will tell myself. We are all pretty good at telling ourselves the things that make us feel better.

Yesterday I barraged Facebook with a number of posts about why people aren't inclined to help me. I thought it might be good to have one place that pulled them all together. This will be that place. I am not sure that it is an exhaustive list, but I think it covers many of the more common reasons that I believe help is minimal.


One
Some people don't help me because...they think I am going to die. 
Well. They are going to die, too, should no one help them?

Two
Another reason people are reluctant to help me: there is no end in sight. 
And, if there is one, it is perceived to be death. 
Miracles and Disasters have something in common: 
one moment that changes everything.

Three
Another reason people won't help me: there must be organizations that will help. Did you know that many of the organizations that say they help, don't help the individual? Many who want to help, help organizations, not individuals. Even a church recently told someone who was asking for help on my behalf that they only gave to organizations. Other places that say they can help have parameters: certain age, certain sex, certain geography, certain type of cancer. If you do not fall into any of their buckets, sorry.

Four
Another reason people potentially do not want to help me: I could be a scammer. Granted. There are way too many stories of this type. On the surface I could seem to be one of them. But if people would just take a few minutes to investigate, they will find a blog with over 1200 posts (relatetocancer.com). They will find over 250 videos of me of varying degrees of health and treatment. They will find my name posted, and many private bits of info. They may not find every detail of what I have been dealing with medically, but they will find my willingness to share whatever is necessary for anyone to considerably contribute to help. They will find my story consistent for well over 2 years now. They will also find that Sherri Robbins went with me for a doctor visit, so she got to see things first hand. You will see me getting injected for scans, as well as getting treatment. I even show the lump where my port is in a video. I do not think you could find a comparable set of circumstances with a scammer.

Five
Another reason people are inclined not to help: I don't look or sound sick/sick enough. Do you realize that one of the reasons scammers are able to scam you when it comes to cancer is that they dress the part?

You expect a person who is dealing with cancer to look a certain way, so they do not disappoint you. There are many people living with cancer who you would never know - unless they told you. Not everyone loses their hair. Not everyone gets sick from treatment. Some are like me, and try to look as normal as possible for themselves - and to ignore stares and feelings of pity.


When you are dealing with a cold, you may want pity. But I guarantee you it would get pretty tiresome after a time. You would want to feel normal, look normal, be treated normally. You would get tired of talking about being sick; you would want to talk about other things.

Just because someone's attitude, demeanor and appearance do not scream "cancer!" It does not mean that a person is ok.

There was a beautiful girl named Talia who spent a good part of her last year plus here looking beautiful and smiling. Sadly she is gone now. It was very devastating for many that someone so beautiful, vibrant - full of life could die. But she did.

She did, and others can look just fine until the day they die. Had I not been diagnosed when I was, I might not have been here now. But no one knew cancer was in the picture as I getting closer to death.

As with so many things...appearance isn't everything.

Six
Another reason people are inclined to stay away, and out of the picture: fear.

If someone can be ok one day and gone the next (like Kellie Pickler's grandmother - diagnosed one day, died the next day), if they can look and sound good and still be sick, then could it happen to them, or someone they love?

Better not to look at it. If you act like it doesn't exist, it doesn't exist, does it? Just keep going and pretend you don't see anything.


Have you ever been afraid of something you confronted? If you have, you probably noticed it lost its ability to scare or intimidate you. In some cases you may even wonder why you ever had the fear you did.

The more you can face cancer and death, it becomes a whole lot less scary. You know how I know? Because I used to feel a lot differently before cancer showed up.

You, of course, need only go where you want to go. You never need face your fears. It is your choice. Having said that, I can only tell you how freaking shell shocked I was when I first got "here." It is nothing like you could imagine - especially in contrast to a place like Denial.

Seven
Another reason people don't help: they have their own problems.

This applies many ways. Many are caught up in their own dramas. They din't feel like they have the time, the money, the energy to help.

I understand this. I have been there, too. It is hard to give to another when you are struggling, and don't have what you need for yourself.

I get it. You are where you are. One day something may change, and you may be in a different place - more able and willing to give of yourself to others.


I have found that those who have the least able to give often are the ones who want to help the most. The ones who have truly struggled and found themselves put down, judged, criticized are the ones who have the greatest empathy for someone who is struggling.

I have given more dealing with cancer - having a whole lot less than I used to. Instead of seeing how much I hurt and how little I have, and feeling like I have to hold on to it, I have a greater tendency to see how much someone else is hurting, and try to help - even if just a little.

I decided a while ago that I can't ask others to do what I am unwilling to do myself. We can't help everyone who asks, but we don't have to be so focused on ourselves that we don't help anyone.

Eight
Another reason people potentially don't help: they can't give enough/they may appear cheap.

If you were somewhere and about to run out of gas, and someone said they could only give you $1, would you take it? If you knew that $1 would help you get to the next place you had to be, you'd probably be extremely grateful.

You might recognize that no one had to give you anything, and in contrast to everyone who passed by and gave you nothing, that $1 meant everything to you.

I cannot ever express how grateful I am to those who do things on my behalf, the contrast between those who DO something - anything -and those who do not is huge.


Never underestimate the value of $1. It may seem like nothing to you, but be everything to the person you give it to.

Nine
Still another reason people may refrain from helping: I appear to be "tough" "strong" "courageous."

A fireman or policeman might be perceived as those things; but if they go into a particularly difficult situation, odds are they won't go it alone - unless they have to. They recognize some situations need support. As a whole, they realize support is needed, as there are departments of them. They know one is not enough. As a matter of fact, what gives them those qualities may be partly due to the fact that they have the support they have.


It is very difficult to have to continually deal with something - especially when mostly alone.

Believe me, if I did not absolutely need the help - I wouldn't be asking. You have no idea how much of my life I have had to persevere on my own. It is probably what has given me my strength, but it is exhausting.

It is really hard to ask for help, to really need it, and find oneself often standing alone. It can be quite devastating, actually.


I have given lots of reasons why people are not inclined to help...so why would someone help? Each reason explains why there might be an alternative perspective. Other than that, if I "get" to stay here for a while, I want to continue to speak up for those who won't or can't. I want to believe I can make a difference. I have a good, caring heart and have extended myself to help others. I understand all too well the pain of all too many, and really want to help change the tide all too many seem to go with.

We deserve better...don't you think? Of course, you directly might not be able to keep me here, but accumulative kindnesses could really help alleviate the massive amounts of stress I feel that can't be helpful in regard to my health. Your kindness might just help create a miracle. I did tell you I ordered one, didn't I?

Wherefore art thou, mind?

Today someone who talks to me more than many people do got angry and said something about how he has to think of me as a little kid because I do not remember things. He has to assume I know nothing and repeat stuff.

I know he was just venting. But it hurt more than I felt at the time because on some level, he is kind of right. Many people who deal with me do so on a limited basis. So if I am not fully able to remember and do things, I think empathy and forgiveness might be more easily come by than for someone who is constantly having to deal with the way my mind isn't functioning.

It is getting more than annoying. It also seems worse since the last round of chemo treatments. I just don't know what to say at moments like that. They make me sad, and I am already sad by the fact that I feel diminished.

I was thinking since that conversation that it might be easier not to talk to anyone much, given how things are. I find myself often having to remind people that I am not how I once was. I can't tell you how much I hate doing that. But I also hate when I fail to live up to what I am supposed to be able to be capable of.

If you knew me before, you would know how much different things seem to be now. Now I may just seem really scattered, ditzy, irresponsible. So many never really get what happens with chemo. They never fully understand the toll it exacts, especially in the mental realm. They pay attention to the body, but when it comes to the mind, there are doctors who do not believe that chemo affects the brain.

Doctors may attribute what I am dealing with to stress and other things, but not chemo. I know what stress feels like, and I won't take it out of the equation totally, but there is a different quality to what happens in my mind since chemo. It has really affected my short term memory, especially. And because short term is affected, new things have a harder time making it into my longer term memory.

I talk about this stuff so matter-of-factly that unless I told you I was sitting here, teary-eyed, you might not realize how painful this really is. As a matter of fact, I would guess there are many times that goes for a lot of what I share and write about.

I am sitting here in pain. Tired. Crying. Overwhelmed. But all you can see are my words. You can't see my fear. You can't see how I sometimes wonder if I am making the right choices. You can't see the teeter-totter that I am constantly on, desperately trying to balance out because there is just no way to get off of it.

You have no idea what my day-to-day is like. You have no idea what it is like to feel like the clock is not your friend, and have many people not be responsive to you. You have no idea what it is like to also want to be more responsive to people, but unable to get to many things in a day, and sometimes forget to even do them for weeks. You have no idea how the part of me that is always trying to be balanced and understand things feels knowing that the first two sentences seem hypocritical. You have no idea how frustrated I am to think that I "need" to be treated differently and in a "special" way, but to not really want it at all.

The other day I was trying to do something. Someone offered me a different way. I was trying to do it the way that would have seemed "normal" before. I told her, "Sometimes I like to act like everything is OK and normal." As a result, I sometimes cause myself issues because I can't really do things like I have always done.

I hate watching myself change like this. It is partly what I feared and cried about on the train platform about a year ago. I don't want to watch myself deteriorate. When I talk like this many probably think I am going to die. Someone wrote something recently on Facebook that I was "very sick." I cringed.

I have never said that about myself, whether or not it is "true." I would never want to say that about myself, either. I thought about saying something to the person, but I have learned that sometimes words like that are needed to spur people to action and to want to help. It can also, however, have an adverse reaction in that people may not want to help a person they perceive to be dying.

There are so many ways I feel stymied and frustrated. People who think they know better don't help, either. I can't tell you how many times people ask me the same questions over and over or make the same suggestions as the line of people before them.

Yes. They want to help. I get it. But what many don't get is how much energy it takes to have to repeat myself over and over, and how much it takes to be "polite." Some people think that it's nothing to "just" respond quickly to their message, their text, their call. Sometimes it would take everything I have. But it is so difficult to convey that to people who have never had the experience I have had. It is difficult in a world that has certain expectations of how things should be done. If I don't act on something I must be ungrateful or not really want to help myself.

I saw a video about Zack, a teen who died dealing with cancer. In it, his mother talked about how he sought to live while dying.

In some ways that is what we all do. But no one claims that, except perhaps for the person who has been told by someone that they are dying.

I don't know that I ever want to go there, but for all I know that is exactly what I do each and every day. But doing something and claiming it aren't exactly the same things.

In the last few days a few people have stepped up to try to help. I am not sure what exactly has spurred them on, although I have been once again more vocal. Whatever it is, I am grateful for it, and hope that something comes out of it.

For a while now, I have said I don't need suggestions. I need other people to take action on my behalf. I am more grateful than most will ever realize for those who have stepped up in that way.

For the record (related and not), because I think it an interesting point of conversation, someone suggested that local churches can help. She offered to call three. One said they only help groups, and the other two have yet to respond. We will see how it goes.

I need help more than ever, but I am also so tired...It is really hard to have to deal with the stuff I have to deal with. I keep trying to push, and I am not sure if I am doing myself any favors.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thoughts

I have felt an incredible amount of stress these last few days. It has been really hard to function, and yet I am barely managing to.

I have a few thoughts and ideas of things I might try. I also had a thought yesterday that I am feeling slightly different about today.

Yesterday I was thinking about how, if cancer is in the picture when I die, people will say cause of death was cancer. I cannot tell you how wrong I think that is.

Had I written this yesterday, I would have said that what will kill me is not the illness, but having to deal with all of the issues around the illness. There is so much to deal with around this illness that is - in some ways - more sick than the illness itself.

Having said that, I saw an interesting video today about how when death comes, maybe it is time to go. That the soul no longer needs to do one more thing. The ego might feel otherwise, but maybe it is time to go.

A part of me is scared to say these things. It makes me wonder if I have given up. It makes me wonder if others will think I have given up.

Is this thinking preparing me to die, or preparing me to live more fully in the life I have?

So many questions, as always. So many emotions. Just so freaking much. 

There are times I wonder what the purpose of life truly is. We are constantly running from here to there, rarely acknowledging life itself. It is about where we go. What we have, or don't have. Where we live.

I am sure if we did not have a need to go to the bathroom, we never would. It would not make the list of things we wanted or needed to do. But it is one of those things that demand our attention on a regular basis. The "funny" thing is that many will do other things while there. in those cases it isn't even fully what it is.

We are good at auto-piloting ourselves. We are good at settling into routines. We are good at avoiding many of the things right in front of us. We are good at plowing through stuff.

I could be wrong, but I kinda doubt life was supposed to be full of distractions. Occasionally, perhaps. But constantly? I doubt it. 

Dealing with cancer simultaneously cuts out crap, but it creates new types of crap. It tends to make one question what really is important, and worth pursuing.

Dealing with cancer calls attention to the myriad of useless things and worries. It shows what really is important. Being able to get out of bed and using the bathroom is one of them.

It gets down to the simplest of things. In a world of stuff that might seem sad or in some ways devastating. But I think it really can be quite liberating.

The stripping down process can feel quite humiliating that is for certain. But it is only because we have gotten so far away from who we are at the core. 

It is odd, in a way, to consider that humiliation often is associated with stripped down versions of ourselves. What is wrong with basic and simple? 

It has become so hard to simply be who we are for fear of the likely inevitable judgments. How much do we do to please and appease others?  

It is easy to get caught up. I see it all the time. It is easy to get caught in the mess that life can be when you think there is always a tomorrow to get it right, or straighten it out. The urgency of the moment is replaced by distractions. The irony is that most will think they're in the moment, but they're actually caught in the web of the distraction.

How do you know which it is? Likely you do know without even having to ask the question. The times you run past someone in need to get somewhere on time. The time you put off a friend or child who needs to talk because you have something else you need to do. 

Logically you will make an argument that it it just how things are or need to be. Really? Is that really true? And if it is "true" does it need to remain true? 

Why do we allow ourselves to settle into things that do not really work?  Probably because we don't realize just how little they work until we find ourselves in that place of need and so many are off doing their own thing.

Some might say they were doing what is best for themselves by not engaging with others. What if the opposite was - at least sometimes - true? What if engaging with others was what was best for us?

How do we know? By listening to the inner gut and voice. For many that voice has been quieted, or silenced altogether. It has been replaced by the seeming all-encompassing value of logic.

Logic has its place. The problem is that many times acts of humanity and love either defy logic or create a different kind of logic than we have been indoctrinated with. So it does not compute.

At this point, when I die I want it to be from an empowered place of my soul. I hope it will be without my body or ego suffering. And when I die, I hope that cancer will only be a footnote of the life I left behind. 

And while I live, I desire from my heart to make cancer a secondary character of this journey. It is all some people see when it comes to me, but like you, there is so much more to me, life and living than one label that I wear.

That is one of those things I hope to leave behind. It is a message about so much more. It is a message about love and expressions of our humanity. It is about our ability to freely be ourselves without being stifled or limited by labels.

It is also a message my ego hopes to be  around for a good, long time to explore and share and be a (healthy) conduit for.



Friday, November 21, 2014

Dancing Around the Distinctions

Do you know that those who often have the least to give are the ones who give the most? So many people tell me they can't afford to help me, even when I ask for "just" $1. I understand it. I was once there myself. I was paying around $1400 in rent a month, had other expenses, and felt that *I* needed *my* money.

My heart went out to those in need. It really did. But, they must have family, friends and others who would/could help, right? Besides, if I "just" gave $1, I would seem to be so cheap, wouldn't I?

I sometimes would reach out with a heartfelt message that probably did little more than make me feel like I had actually done something. Looking at it now, I have to wonder if it was as annoying and frustrating to these people as it can be to me when others do that to me now.

It wasn't always like that. Sometimes I would try to extend myself in other ways that might be of benefit. There was someone who desperately needed a heart transplant. His sister was doing all she could to raise help for him. I offered to see what I could do hypnotically. I also spent hours online trying to help her/his cause. It wasn't anyone I knew personally, but it felt like the right thing to do.

While there were a few things that were happening, you could tell how frustrated and overwhelmed his sister was. At some point Trent Reznor got involved, and things took off in quite a significant way. But I could feel how almost useless my attempts were at trying to have some sort of impact.

As I look back, I wonder if I somehow wasn't personally invested enough. I wanted others to do what I hadn't done. At the same time, others might have been in a better position to do something financially than I was. Still. It was the idea that "someone else" would do something, and that in clicking, I was doing my part.

Now I am in a lot worse shape financially, and I have given money to Bambi, someone who has been in a worse predicament than me in some ways. She is currently homeless, and struggling to stay at a motel until housing can be found for her. And that may be the least of her issues, as she faces many medical concerns.

Bambi isn't the only one I have given to in the last couple of years. It isn't a lot. Many times it is "just" a $1. I got to the point that I felt I couldn't ask other people to do what I wasn't willing to do.

It is not that I give to everyone who asks, although if I could, I certainly would. I don't know that others can give to all people all the time, either. It can be a type of exhaustion when there are so many needs and causes that are asking for your support. I get it.

But. Here's the thing. Some people wind up never giving anything, of themselves - or otherwise. They are caught up in their lives and in the idea that they can't afford it. It is one thing to not want to give. It is another thing to not be able to. And every time you say you "can't" is not likely a "unable" moment, too.

I say this in part because I really am in no position to help others - certainly in a lesser place than before - but I still have. I hope the fact that I share that I have done this doesn't dissuade others from helping me because they think I will be giving their money away to someone else. I hope that they understand that what I am doing is trying to create a bigger picture of compassion for those in need, and to create a case that could help not only me, but others. There are way too many people in predicaments of all types who need help and aren't getting it.

There are all kinds of reasons we can give ourselves and others for not making a choice that can positively impact another. There are all kinds of mental calculations and judgments and assessments that can justify what we choose to do, or not do.

I had seen a video at one point of someone who had asked people eating pizza if they could have some. I don't remember the exact context of the video, but I believe in all cases, he was denied. He then had a homeless person given a pizza, and asked if he could have some, and the homeless person shared.

In another video, a guy was asking people for help. Many passed him up, but when he asked someone who turned out to be homeless, the guy "helped" him.

I have learned a lesson by standing where I stand that I never got before this. Did it take getting here to teach it to me? Might there have been an easier way?

I think about all of the stuff that people share and say. And much of it has a "feel good" or "feel ucky" quality to it, but then most likely go "aww" or "yuck" and then proceed merrily back into their lives without stepping back to consider what the bigger message is, or how the message of the video could have a greater impact.

It stops at, "oh wasn't that something?" Instead of being the beginning of a sentence, it is the punctuation at the end. It becomes a nice story to tell. It becomes a video to share. But rarely does it ever translate into something more than something yucky or nice to observe.

If I was going to make a broad statement, I'd say we have become a society of observers, many times being all too willing to be the spectators of other people's lives, often glad (if honest) that what is happening on the field over there doesn't directly involve us. Thankfully we can just drink our beer and place our attention on the cheerleaders.

I just know some people will hate that metaphor. Well. I hate the fact that it is a pretty apt metaphor for the not so pretty thing is stands for.

For over two years now I have often tip-toed around this subject. It is hard being the one in need. Everything you say - whether it is about you or not - is thought to be about you. It is much easier when someone else is involved; there is a much greater freedom to say things because it isn't about you. In some ways, it even becomes more a story about you, the person trying to help, than the person or situation you are trying to help. Somehow that might make the story more palatable, I guess.

It is hard on the toes and other things to walk around that way. Those who know me know that I often really say how I feel to them because they won't take offense at what I say. We dance around so much stuff in society, often never directly looking at the things that make us uncomfortable.

I write the things I write because I feel at the very least, we can look at things, and be honest about what they are, instead of fabricating the types of things that keep us from acknowledging reality, including the fact that anything we communicate about that we don't want to deal with is considered negative and should somehow be shunned, changed or in some way corrected.

I have often said I want to be in people's faces, and it is not because I want them to be antagonized or angry. It is because I want them to have a chance of seeing something they may otherwise miss. My friend Sherri often has told me how she wasn't sure about me at first. But she was willing to get past what she felt, and get to know me. As a result, it seems we have an incredible relationship that works quite well for both of us.

Sometimes things have to be in our face to see them. All I can do is ask you to look. You can choose to do whatever you like with what you see...but please just look. Please consider looking at the things that make you uncomfortable. Sadly, we just never know when we might be in the circumstances we tried so hard to avoid. We just never know when everything we have might seem to fall apart. We just never know when all the things we thought were real and permanent and enduring will show just how unreal and uncertain they are.

I wish I had had more understanding of things before I was so deeply immersed in them. And yet, because I was not, it does allow me the perspective of knowing just how uncomfortable my conversations can often be. I can't really think of many - if any - times I saw messages like mine before all of this. Would it have mattered? Would it have made a difference? It is hard to say, but I do wonder.

I also wonder if anyone pays attention to the things I write about. I am told by some how profound and objective some of my posts are. I know people are paying attention in some way. This blog has had over 50,000 views at this point. People are showing up for some reason.

We owe it to ourselves to be honest. It isn't comfortable, but maybe over time we can get better about it if we don't feel so awkward about it.

One thing I have heard way too many times is that this is the "real world." "This" is the world we live in. There is a level of acceptance there that "should" probably not be there. Why do we allow ourselves to accept the things that really aren't working? Why do we do a collective shrug, and just keep going, only to be jarred awake when we run into the very things we have avoided or judged or...?

Nothing will change if we don't give ourselves the benefit of being honest (at least with ourselves) about what we do or don't do.

Be honest about why you do or don't do something. Be aware of who you are doing it for. Do your words really have meaning for the other person, or do they just make you feel better? Stop. Look. Listen. Take some sort of Action. More often.

I cannot tell you what a difference being able to speak my mind makes. Yes. It does suck at times. But it is amazing to be able to speak things as they are. We really have to work at separating out the judgments of the things from the things themselves to be able to be more free about the things.

And, that, my friends - as you can likely guess - goes for just about anyone or anything.

I have tried to re-read this a couple of times. My mind feels a bit "blurry." It has been a very emotional and rocky and exhausting couple of days. It took everything I had to get out of bed, and I haven't been able to really accomplish much.

I hope that somewhere in this post there is something that will be heard, and has some value. I was told today that I have the earmarks of a "revolutionary." I don't know what I think of that. I just feel like a person who is trying desperately to survive. I am so overwhelmed, though, there are times lately I feel my brain just wanting to not have to make another decision, and it feels like it just wants to shut down.

For that reason, I hope I have made sense in what I have written. I would like to say that I hope I haven't really upset anyone in the process, but I am pretty certain there will be those who will not appreciate where I have come from while writing it.

I was much angrier and more emotional when I started it. Now I just want to sleep. At the very least, perhaps it served a purpose by allowing me a release. I certainly wouldn't mind it being more, though, especially if it could be helpful in some way - especially for the Big Picture.

Some people say they want to make the "WORLD" a better place, but they often ignore or walk by or overlook the immediate opportunities to make a difference for the individuals it is comprised of. How can you fix the seeming big things when you ignore the seemingly small ones?

If you want to make a difference in the world, consider starting with something small. Maybe do a bunch of small things. So many will do nothing because they think they have to build up to something large, or they're waiting for the perfect person, time or opportunity.

What if things are so much more perfect than you give them credit for? What if people in situations like mine are golden opportunities that are often missed?

And then again. You might just want to live your life, and your choices don't mean anything, other than what the choice was. That's OK, too. We all need to do what feels right and best for us. We just have to be a bit careful about accepting what those things are, especially when it can potentially take us away from ourselves and some greater opportunities.

How do we know when those times are? We don't, really. But if we listen, we will get better about knowing when we should make the effort to do things differently instead of staying in auto-pilot. All planes must land sooner, or later, or they run out of gas and crash. We might think we can just keep going as we are, but sooner or later something may tell us otherwise. Hopefully we listen without having to crash first.

And, yes, this message is very much about me, but please don't limit it to that piece of the puzzle. To do that is to ignore the much greater picture of the world...the one that will continue to exist whether I do, or not. It is as much about you as it is about me as it is about our neighbors, families and friends.

Anything I say make sense? What can you do to ACT on it?

As always, thank you for reading.

The Choice is Yours

Please don't tell me you can't help me - because you can. You can tell others about me, my work, my story. You can tell them you were in no position to donate, but donated a $1 because you saw value in doing it, and consider suggesting those you know follow your lead. You can do things to help me instead of sitting back, shaking your head and feeling sorry for me, or wanting to fix my attitude or approach. You want to help? Ask me for a copy of my book - read it - and tell others about it. No obligation to say anything you don't believe about it. If you read it and think you can't say something helpful or supportive afterward, I understand. There are ways to help - if you want to. If you don't have the time, interest or desire to help, that is something else. But you do have the ability to do something active and tangible to help me - or anyone else you care about, really. Cheerleading only goes so far. It doesn't pay a person's bills, buy their medication, put food on their table. You are where you are in relation to your own life and circumstances. I have been where many who will read this have been. There is zero judgment in this post. I present this awkward message as perspective that could be considered, or not. As always, the choice is yours.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Some Days

There are some days I just don't know how I can keep going. I fall apart. I consider what it would be like to just give up and give in, and how easy it would be to just surrender to cancer. Re-reading those words, I haven't even conveyed the impact of how devastated I feel. Every thing goes out the window. Death seems all too welcome, as I am overcome with mental, physical and emotional exhaustion in regard to all that I have to deal with. I wonder why I am here when I can't seem to do much more than barely survive. People tell me to "fight." What am I fighting for, exactly? I often feel so invisible. Was on the train tonight, silently sobbing. People either didn't notice, or didn't want to. I considered asking the people for money. I have recently considered going on the streets with a sign. I am getting close to being that desperate that I would beg for money that way. I cannot tell you how sad that makes me.