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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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