Wednesday, 12 October 2011
IN WHICH SHE TAKES HER HEAD OUT OF HER A**.
Today I did not throw myself a giant pity-party. Consider that high-five-worthy. Between hospital appointments, never getting through a personal phone call without the call waiting beep (and that's usually the hospital...again), having to make out a Will, read handouts (3" thick) from the Cancer Center (I call these "The Big Book of Cancer) and trying to keep up with answering letters and the more mundane aspects of life like laundry, dishes and housework, it's really easy to find myself with fraying nerves and heading for the big black pit.
It's imperative - and maybe even a literal matter of life and death - to stay out of that pit. And to remember the overwhelming kindnesses that have come my way over the course of the last month. It stuns me to think that on September 13th, I was still clinging to the idea that there was a chance that I had a simple inner ear problem. By the 14th, my life had gone ass over teakettle and suddenly Cancer was my new day job.
As a confirmed hermit and curmudgeon, a phone phobic and avoider of most social events involving more than 2 other people, it also stuns me to see how many friends I have. I'd always thought that if anything awful happened, I would have to locate a good sized cardboard box as my new apartment and find an alley to put it in. Wendy, my friend for 40 years, swore that she'd never let that happen. And it wasn't that I lacked faith in her - but I rather thought that stubborn pride and independence might rear it's foolish head and I'd be unable to accept any offer of help.
Amazing how a person can accept help when suddenly they find they don't have a job or a small business or anything else to pay for luxuries like food. When they are, in fact, attached to IVs and a catheter and can't even get up to close a door. The goodwill and positive energy directed my way boggled my mind. People did everything from buying my groceries to caring for my cat to cleaning my house. Suddenly, there was "Team Linda," a group of friends both local and at a distance, who dedicated themselves to getting me through this - whether it was by bringing me food, paying a bill, driving me to the hundreds of appointments, giving good advice, listening when I'm really down or thinking of all the potential needs I might have - and don't want to face. I'm not going to name my local friends here. You know who you are. I just hope you know how much I appreciate everything. Thanks also to people who write and call themselves "only" Facebook friends. You've been amazing. There's no "only" there at all.
And my dear friend Cate, in Milwaukee, put her board games up for auction and I hear that the auction is rolling right along. Not only that, but strangers have donated their own games to the auction. Hello out there, Board Game Geeks. Talk about the kindness of strangers. Now, I may want to kill Cate for that second pathetic picture she sneaked up on your site, but her heart was definitely in the right place and she's thinking a whole lot more clearly than I am about future expenses - like the price of medications. I'm grateful to her - and to all the BGG folks who pitched in. I'm just amazed at how much power stems from the grass roots. Thank you so much.
(I don't know if this is an original thought or not) but I believe that the opposite of despair is not hope - but gratitude.
I'm so very grateful to all of you. "Thank you," doesn't even come close.