Friday, March 9, 2012

biggest blessing when you have cancer is support

I'll say it again, "biggest blessing when you have cancer is support." That's another search term that compelled Google to send someone to this blog yesterday and I LOVE IT! It is so true! Every time I look at that phrase my eyes well up.

We all have our meltdowns, we know the dark side of our cancer all too well, we have attirude coming out the you know, and we have support systems...people who love us, whether they know us or not personally, or who at least tolerate us, but still they choose to offer us support for this journey we are on. They choose to stand beside us, kneel with us, and pray for us. They encourage us, dry our tears, laugh with us, share our joys, share their own stories, and make room for us in their hearts.

Hearts are big places. They may be hearts of faith, but not necessarily. Clearly, with this post today, even as a person of faith, I'm not talking about turning to God for His support. I'm talking about the support God provides each of us through each other, whether we have any "belief" in God or not. And it is circular support. It's amazing to watch the cancer support mechanism work.

We who need support receive and we also give. No one ever just absorbs. We soak it up, wring it out, and what is wrung out splashes over others, they absorb, wring it out and splash back onto us. And we are blessed, strengthened, encouraged. And that's how we can have our meltdowns and then tell about them. It's how we can come clean when we face the dark side. It's how we can display our attirude for all the world to see. We know that when we run to our support system (or crawl to them if we're feeling beaten down), they UNDERSTAND because they HAVE BEEN THERE AND ARE THERE AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE THERE!

We know they will never kick us when we're down. We know that, even if it's a cyberspace support group, that someone will always be on the other end of our posts ready to say what needs to be said. We know we aren't alone even when we physically look around and see no one else present. We know in our hearts there are people we can turn to and they are there for us and we are there for them and we find out all over again that

Hearts are big places. They have room for one another's pain right alongside one another's joy. I can't explain how it works, but it does. Particularly in cyberspace. We literally cry over reading the agony shared by a warrior because we can feel their intense pain as if it were our own, and at the same time, we can read a post from another warrior who got good scan results and smile for them and share their joy and relief as if it were our own. Neither feeling is diminished even though they are held side-by-side with a tender tension. But it is a strong, unbreakable tension. Our hearts can break and our hearts can rejoice at the same time and both emotions are real, true, intense, and sometimes really difficult to juggle at the same time to be honest. But juggle we must because we are support systems for one another and that is what we do. We support.

We support people who are in different places with their cancer. Even though there are, indeed and obviously, aspects of our disease we must face alone for they truly cannot be shared in a physical sense, we know that we cannot face even that without support.

Not everyone with cancer is a person of faith...any faith. Not even "faith" in medicine or technology. But we all need someone we can count on and who counts on us.

Someone got it right: biggest blessing when you have cancer is support

And I am grateful for all those who support me on this journey called life and melanoma. I am grateful for all those who have allowed me to be part of their support system.

All of you are "biggest blessing when you have cancer is support"

And I am grateful.

From James Taylor, You've Got A Friend