Monday, April 28, 2014


Something just happened that made me think about my bigger picture, and my interactions with others. In an attempt to clear my head, I am going to be staying with a friend a bit to determine if I will actually do chemo, and proceed as the doctors want. I have asked the friend I live with to "feed" my sourdough starter while I am gone. I have asked him several times if he would do it, and he keeps saying no. Today I asked if he only had to do it once every three days, could he live with it?

The result was a heated conversation, of sorts. Even though he keeps asking me why I can't just start over, and I keep explaining to him my reasons for wanting it, we go over the same thing each time because he just doesn't understand/accept my reasons.

Tonight I said, "You know, sometimes you don't have to understand a person's reasons if you know something is important to them. You can just do what they ask."

I think that is a major issue I have in general with people these days. What it comes down to is my friend doesn't want to be bothered with the starter, and thinks that I should have no reason to be bothered with it, either. He then denies my reasons for wanting it. They are not good enough to override his lack of desire to do it.

I have tried to respect the fact that he doesn't want to do it, but I am trying to find a way that I know it will survive without my being around. I am trying to find a compromise. As it is, if I go for surgery, I will likely be gone a month, or so, so there is a good chance even if it survives now, it may go bye-bye then.

But that is not the point.

The point is that for some reason this is important to me, and because it is important to me, I wish he would allow himself to accept that it is important, and go with what I want, instead of what he doesn't want, and that he not feel such a strong need to understand my reasons when I am not entirely sure of what they are either. Although, there are some reasons I have shared and am well aware of, it doesn't seem to be enough for him.

This is exactly the kind of thing I find when dealing with people these days. They look at what they think my life is and reason out whether or not I need what I say I do. For some, giving is conditional. They give me something for something specific. Somehow they reason out that what they think is more important than what I think is important.

I am not in any way judging them, and am grateful for help in whatever form it shows up that I believe is helpful to me. I have had some tell me I should accept help any way it is offered, and that I disagree with. Sometimes "help" can be anything but.

The point I am looking to make is that we constantly judge others by our own beliefs, understandings, and perceptions. And yet, when we want something, we want it, don't we? We want someone to care about us enough to say, "I know this is important to you for whatever reason it is important to you, and even though I don't understand it, or agree with it, I will do what you ask."

We want that. But what that is is often hard to give others because we are somehow affected in a way we don't want to be. If he was Ok with doing it, there would be no issue. There is only a "reasoning" issue because he'd rather use his lack of understanding as an excuse not to do it.

The fact is that there are likely many more people than I could count who don't really want to help me, and they find things about me or my situation that preclude them from feeling a need to extend themselves.

It may sound harsh, but I do think it is a fact. What is harsher still, is where I stand. It has become increasingly difficult to continue to have to ask for help over and over and over. It has become increasingly difficult to have people stand back and judge my choices, when they are in no position to. They make think they know, but the fact is that what many think they know is not even a clue of the reality.

Earlier today I told someone that "In an ideal world...'this' is what I would like." ("this" is a stand-in for what I was sharing with them in detail.) I told them what I would like, at the same time acknowledging it is not what they wanted. There was a lot of freedom for me in saying what I did. But there was no attachment to it. I am at times frustrated by it, but that's my problem, and I can choose to deal with it, and the person, or not.

In that context, I share with you that "In an ideal world" others would see me as I see myself. They would see the person who has tried hard most of her life to help others - many times without reservation or cost. They would see a person who cares deeply for others. A creative person. Someone who would do anything she could not to have to ask others for help. A person who would prefer to be private, but has been compelled to be more open than she ever wanted to be. A person who has never liked being judged, and has spent a good part of her life trying to be invisible and hide. A person who rarely, if ever, spoke what she really felt to others for fear of what it could cost her. A person who had to start speaking up, despite her discomfort, and found that few ever understood her, and also judged many of the things she did to be open and honest about her situation as things that were reasons she didn't need - or deserve - any help. A person who is on the verge of facing the reality of something a second time she never wanted to face a first time. A person who is in many ways at the end of the line, and struggling to find hope and peace and to survive - but not survive cancer as much as survive living in a world that has many who silently sit by and watch her struggles. A person trying to survive the isolation that a cancer diagnosis can bring. A person trying desperately to find meaning in a life that in isolation feels all too many times like it has no value. A person who has to dance with the dichotomies of life in the starker reality of a life dealing with cancer in which every thing that doesn't work about how we are with each other is amplified.

In this "ideal world" my hope for this perspective would bring people to a place in which they would feel compassion for "this" person. It would have them see shades of things they can identify with. It would bring an empathy that would encourage others to act on the person's behalf.

It would ultimately have me feeling much less alone. There are times I really am not sure why I am here. Occasionally people will tell me how much they appreciate the fact that I speak up and out, and I am glad. But I am facing an uphill climb. I don't have the resources that others may have, and sadly there are many more others than you might realize who are sitting in a position similar to mine.

Many people and I have a lot more in common than most may realize, they're just too busy paying attention to the differences between us in order to keep their distance. It is a lot more comfortable and safer there, to be sure.

In another conversation I had today I shared that I felt a "tinge" uncertain about something I was going to do any way. The person asked what that tinge was about. I think they might have been curious about how I was proceeding in the face of the uncertainty. I explained that it just felt right, and I knew it was something I had to do. I explained that many good things have come when I have danced with the things that have made me uncomfortable - especially when there was the piece that felt right - and I listened to it.

In an "ideal" world, I would have many more potential dancing partners who would be willing to dance with their discomfort, and still be an active part of my world. I know it can't be easy. But those who have done the dance have made a big difference for me even when there was no solution they could offer, or any perfect words they could say.

I wish I could say that they were all I needed. Boy. Do I wish I could say that. Instead, I am constantly pushed to go places I would rather not. It is exhausting.

The last few days some new people have contributed to help me, and I am so grateful. But like so many of my urgent pleas, there was a burst that has now gone silent. I wish I could say my problems financially for the next several months were resolved with what I have recently shared.

Unfortunately, it is far from it. I may have to refile for Disability and start over. And I am now one month away from no money again. Gratefully I now can make it one more month thanks to what has come in. That is something. But in a month I could be back on chemo, and it will make EVERYTHING that much harder for me. You probably really have no idea what that means.

This all started out talking about REASONS. You could have every reason not to help me at this point, but I am going to ask you from the bottom of my heart to please consider what I have said, and - if you haven't already - to consider helping me by spreading my request for help, my blog, and by considering contributing even $1.

There are other ways to help me, and perhaps yourself, too, and you can see more info here http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2014/03/about-mehow-you-can-help.html There is a tax-deductible option, and Paypal will allow me to keep the greatest amount of the money you contribute.

If you read this all, I thank you for your time. I thank you for potentially considering my words, and whether you choose to help ME or not, I hope my words in some way will have you reconsidering how you might interact with others in their own predicaments.

Much love to you.

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