My support circle (I like this term) formed organically with almost no effort on my part. The word got out that I was sick and suddenly they were there. It doesn't happen this way for everyone. I thank God for the loving people in my life.
People who cared about me seemed to know instinctively what I needed. My in laws, God bless them, made plans to fly across the country every three weeks to help while I underwent chemotherapy. A neighbor took in my youngest son, Ethan, on the afternoons that I couldn't lift my head off the couch.
|Sheila (friends for 30 years) helped after my mastectomy|
|Alicia ran in the Alaska Run for Women|
|Marla called often from Hawaii and sent care packages in the mail|
|Every woman deserves a loving partner like mine|
And that was just the beginning.
Two FaceBook friends who'd had cancer sent letters of support. They were my mentors, my sisters. They guided me through the darkness and listened to all my fears (and lots of whining and bitching, too).
Even with this help I did my best to go along as if nothing was happening. I kept my regular schedule until after two months of chemo I hit a wall and could do no more. It took all of my energy just to sleep. This may not make sense to everyone and I'm glad it doesn't. I posted on FaceBook that I really needed help. Within hours my phone rang. It was Ronda, a lovely lady I'd met through PSI Seminars.
Ronda said, "Tell me what you need and I'll get it done."
I collapsed into tears and couldn't speak. Ronda stayed quiet and waited. The only sound I heard through my cries was a gentle shhh it's going to be okay on the line.
Ronda got it done. She organized friends from PSI and The Henderson Writers' Group. Food appeared at my door each evening. My house was cleaned from top to bottom. All transportation for my children was provided. Holiday dinner was prepared for us by several families and delivered on Thanksgiving morning.
This is what I wish for anyone diagnosed with a serious illness. I wish for them to have a circling of the wagons, loved ones who hold back the dangers in the night, shielding you from stress and strain so you can give all your energy to recovery. This is the kind of world I want to live in and what we all deserve.
Since my illness I've often imagined what it would have been like to go through cancer alone. It makes my blood run cold to think about it. This happens too often. People are left (for many reasons) without a support system. My prayer is that we would all offer our help to those in need and be part of their support circle. I truly believe that it's a blessing to the receiver but also to the giver.
Thank you to those who were/are part of my support circle. I love you and have the deepest admiration for you.