Today is day 28. Wow. Four weeks since I started this chemo journey. Day 56 since "D-Day". Time flies when you're having fun, huh?
One thing I have learned already (or perhaps I knew it but it is now being reinforced) is that people want to help. Most of the time when they say "What can I do?", they really mean PLEASE TELL ME WHAT I CAN DO BECAUSE I REALLY WANT TO DO SOMETHING! Sure, sometimes there is only a half-hearted attempt at offering help because what else do you say when you find out someone has cancer? "Oh, I'm sorry. Please let me know if you need anything."
For the most part, though, if you are blessed with amazing people in your life like I am, you find out that not only do people WANT to help, but they expect you to ask for help. That's the hard part for me. Letting people do things for me? That's all good. Asking over and over again for a meal or a ride or a babysitter.... yikes. And my journey has really only just begun. I have two more months of chemo. Then major surgery. Then weeks of radiation. I will be calling in favors until the cows come home!
I've also learned that it is a small, small world. I've been welcomed into an amazing community of fellow breast cancer patients in an online discussion forum. One woman going down this road is a single mom of three kids, one of them severely handicapped. She has had no family or friends step up to help her. In talking with her, I almost feel guilty for the amazing support system I have. I can't imagine going through this without my wonderful husband and the friends and family who love us. This woman has nothing and nobody except her kids' babysitter. Well, it turns out that she lives not far from where one of my friends lives. Here's where the asking for help comes in. I don't know this woman, and my friend sure doesn't know her. But I do know what it's like to face what she's facing, and I know how grateful I am for help. My amazing friend is bringing this woman and her family dinner tomorrow night. How cool is that? I'm so grateful for people's willingness to help, even when the person you're helping is a stranger. I'm thankful to be able to "pay it forward" in some small way by connecting someone in need with someone able to help a little.
Cancer sucks, but God is good.