I visited my doctor last week. After my exam we talked. She asked how I am doing. She knows my world has turned dark.
I shared with her my coping mechanisms. Calm, a motivational site on Instagram, has been most helpful. A quick burst of cheer and positivity, it also offers thinking messages. I’m rereading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, an inspirational resource. He discusses a valuable “lesson” about seeking approval. Ruiz pointedly says, “Nothing other people do is because of you. It’s because of themselves” (and I believe his adage “Don’t take anything personally” should go right up there with Thou shalt not kill. Is that an oxymoron? You’ll have to read the book).
My doctor said it sounds like I am staying positive. I told her that while this has been most difficult, I know that one day, the sun will shine again; it may be a long while, but it will shine. It doesn’t mean I am happy my husband has cancer. It means that I am looking for the good, and if there is something good, I will find it.
So when I saw this little meme the other day, I knew it was meant for me. Is my husband’s cancer diagnosis what I wanted? Is it what I needed? Oh, HELL no, but it may be what someone else needs.
Maybe someone out there needs to hear my words. Maybe someone can learn from our experience. If you’re familiar with my previous posts, you may remember that Bruce did not have typical symptoms of glioblastoma. If I had missed the odd behaviors and had not acted, he would not be here right now. This is a powerful message.
Is anyone witnessing odd behavior, confusion, and forgetfulness in a loved one? Have these all hit at once? Are there body weaknesses? Are they in a fog? Are they sleeping a lot? Are there financial mistakes? Do they say they are fine when you ask? HAS YOUR DOCTOR TAKEN YOU SERIOUSLY?
Would I have shared this message had it not happened to Bruce? That isn’t how life works. It often takes tragic events–our own or those that happened to someone we love–to find our voice and act. The brutal realness of life may propel us to come forward. Isn’t this often what we see? Mothers of children victim to gun violence become public advocates for gun safety, for example. Cancer isn’t what I wanted, but maybe sharing and speaking my truth fulfills needs, for me and through me.
This is the something good, the very best good, I can see right now.
The “best” brings into focus Ruiz’s lesson mentioned above. Speaking my truth is about me, even though it may be difficult to read what I write about cancer. It may be upsetting to learn how it has affected our family and countless others. Cancer is ugly and my words may be raw.
These aren’t good reasons to be silent. That helps no one.
Got it. Thanks, Tim.
Blessings and thanks for reading. ❤