I just got off the phone with someone I know a few minutes ago. The conversation was annoying, like it often is with this particular person. There are times I wonder why we still speak. I often find myself regretting telling him the things I do. Many times he will bring them back in another conversation in a way that doesn't work for me, but in a way he thinks he is being helpful.
When I was on my trip in the fall, we spoke on the phone once. I was yelling and screaming and crying. He was telling me how could I expect people to support the trip, when they couldn't do what they needed to do? I tried to explain to him that the trip was about so much more than just about me. I tried to explain that it wasn't a vacation - that there was a much bigger picture.
It made me frustrated, angry, sad that someone that I would call friend could feel as he did. It was no wonder strangers weren't as supportive as I could have hoped. It didn't matter how I said it, he just kept going back to the "vacation" idea, and how in some ways it seemed frivolous.
Today we were talking about something else, and I hesitated about sharing it with him. I prefaced it by telling him that I was concerned that he would do what he often does, and asked him not to do it. He said he wouldn't.
But then he did. But he didn't think he did.
I was once again yelling and screaming and crying. He seems to bring something out of me that no one else seems to. I don't particularly like it. But I realized something after I hung up. I realized that I have people in my life who are helping me to cope by allowing me to be like I was with him, and the way I was with the friend the other night. By triggering me, they trigger a much needed release.
I can't tell you how much better I feel now. Amazingly so.
As upset as I was, I was SO clear. He had told me that I should be a certain way about something I felt. He didn't say "should," but it was implied. Every time I would say that he said that I should do something, he would say he never said "should."
So many times, I had to be very clear about what he was hearing versus what I was saying. So many times I had to pull the pieces apart, and in frustration try to explain in a different way what I was trying to convey.
At some point I said to him that often people THINK they know something about a situation or a person, and because they think they know something they overlay what they think should be, based on what they think they know and their perceptions, onto another person and their situation. It is not right, and it doesn't fit. But they think it not only should fit - but that it does.
I told him that when I did what I felt was right for me, it was right - despite what anyone else thought or believed or perceived and that that was one of the most important lessons that I have learned these last couple of years. I learned to stop questioning myself based on what other people think. I told him that many other people would also likely benefit if they could get to the point that I have gotten to.
In some ways it is so freeing, and at other times it spells trouble - especially when people don't get it. The irony is that no one wants others to do it to them when they're wanting or doing something. Everyone has to know the frustration that brings.
And yet every day people SHOULD all over the place. Inherent in those shoulds are judgments. Often they're labelled as "help" or "perspective," or something that seems on the surface to be a good idea probably to others, but not likely to the person it is directed at.
At one point my friend said I couldn't handle questions or the fact that he disagreed with me. That wasn't the case at all. He could ask me whatever he wanted to, and if he disagreed, he disagreed. There was nothing to that that pissed me off. What pissed me off was when he was telling me that what I was saying, and all that it was based on did not count, that it did not matter. And it wasn't that he said it that way. It came through how he expressed that I had no right to see things as I did. He felt I was wrong. Based on the facts as he perceived them I was wrong in how I was being about it.
This is a lot of what I deal with indirectly with people in general these days. There are things in regard to my situation that I just feel I cannot win. I feel that people think they know what I am dealing with and why I do or don't do the things I do or don't do and then assess what I really should do - especially if I want their help.
What sucks more is that it is a generally acceptable way to be. It seems to be par for the course. Instead of being in our hearts about things, and making choices that would never be regretted from a place of love, we are in our heads. We logically compute things, and if it equates to what we want it to, we're happy, but if not, we get pissed. If someone else's logic adds up the same way, they agree. If not, there's an argument.
Someone could give me money and see me enjoying myself somewhere and get upset. They didn't see the value of me enjoying myself as much as they might have felt there was value in me having a medical bill paid. What they probably didn't realize was that me enjoying myself is extremely important to my mind, my soul and my body. What they probably didn't realize further was that what I was enjoying was a gift of another, and that I didn't even use what they gave me.
The point is that when something is done from a place of love it won't always feel good, but it is something we will likely never regret. I'd like to take "likely" out of that sentence. I really think that it is never - when it comes from the right place, but never is more absolute than I think I'd like to be. I am questioning how accurate I think that statement is. Even still, I think I would feel accurate without the modifier.
I have so much I need to take care of. I am going to be heading to a friend's for a bit. I am really hoping the change of environment will do me good. While I feel like I am leaning in the direction the doctors want me to, I haven't gotten there just yet. I have so many questions. My emotions are riding a rollercoaster. I am all over the place.
What I said about a place of love holds true in regard to this decision. It needs to come from my heart. I need to know that my choice isn't coming from a place of fear.
As I go to close this, I am sighing. There is so much about this situation that many will never know - even those who have dealt with cancer themselves. In many ways my situation lacks many crucial elements others have. I started to outline the differences, but have decided that I don't want to go through it again - at least not now. You can either take my word for it, or spend some time here on the blog and you can find out much more than you'll likely ever want to know.
Because most will never understand, it is so incredibly difficult to try to explain over and over and over what I am dealing with. I often use a drowning metaphor. Imagine seeing a person in the water bobbing up and down. They may be drowning, but you don't realize it. Even if they said help, you may think they still look ok, why would they ask for help? Maybe you think they already have help coming, so you go on your way. All the while the person is desperate for whatever help they can get.
At some point they might just give up. The irony is that there will be those who will come along and say, "why didn't she...?" Whatever that thing is, I bet she did do it, and others either did not see it, or ignored it, and It just got to be too much of a struggle. It was easier to just give in.
I don't want to be the person who gives in. But there are times it is just too much.
I am so grateful for those who are stepping up and trying to reach out actively on my behalf. It means so much to me that they are using their time and efforts to try to help me get through this time. My ideal scenario is to have a state of health and be able to do whatever it is the world is wanting from me. Even though there are times I do have my doubts, it seems there is a reason for me to be here, and I would love to live a life that lives into that purpose.
There are things that have happened in the last two years that I could never have imagined before they occurred. Had I died, those experiences would have been lost. I am grateful to be here, but am less than thrilled to be here at "any cost." I welcome more of the wonder and magic of life, but would totally prefer it come from a healthy and active place. I would rather die in my sleep one day years from now after living this purposeful life than suffer at the hands of cancer ravaging my body now, or ever.
Last night I laid in bed thinking about things. Thinking about the things we think make sense. I was questioning many things that most would never question. I found myself wondering how to better interact with cancer. Some might think a fetus was an invasion of the body in much the same way another would think cancer was. There are many who would be aghast at the first part of that statement, but not the second. In the same way that a fetus might potentially be seen as "bad" or "good" I found myself wondering if cancer has a bad rap. Is it possible that we have cancer all wrong? I have heard that what cancer really is is the body's attempt to take care of itself.
I realize that the things I sometimes talk about are likely not the norm - or even in the same neighborhood, but it is what has gotten me this far. Yesterday someone told me to keep being who I am, that it is what will get me through this.
There are times I am not sure it is such a good thing, but there are other times I am just totally amazed by what happens. When I was crying with my friend the other night, I would have a fit of sobbing, and then suddenly stop. It was like a sense of peace prevailed. And then it would happen again. It was the oddest freaking thing. But I know it was a good thing.
Maybe it was like a volcano erupting. It would blow, and then be calm, and then blow again. Eventually I was in a much better place overall. The fact that that friend stuck around, and still does, in spite of feeling totally helpless to say or do anything was and is such an incredible gift.
I am not a big fan of saying cancer is a gift. It might sometimes seem that way though. But I think it really more likely that life is the gift that the "act" of cancer reminds us of.
I really could use some help to get by. It is difficult to ask for it over and over, but I can't get through this alone. If you could in some way help by sharing my story, contributing $1 (Yes! Even $1 REALLY does help), buying an MP3 of mine, my recipe booklet, or some of my artwork/prints, I would really appreciate it. You can info on different possibilities (including a tax-deductible option) here (http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2014/03/about-mehow-you-can-help.html)