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Good Luck with That.

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A few days ago, I ran into an acquaintance. Sitting down
next to me, without so much as a Hey, How are ya?, he says matter-of-factly,
“My girlfriend needs to have both her hips replaced.”
… “Uh,” I reply nonplussed, “Good luck with that?”
“Well, I just figured since you’d been through something
hard, you’d understand.”
And I do, but I am not the human receptacle of life trauma,
nor am I the oracle for how to deal with it.
See, the thing is, is that I’m still walking through this,
guys. It’s coming up to a year out from diagnosis, and when I had a sore throat
that lasted more than a few days earlier this month, I freaked out, and tried
not to freak out. I went to the doctor, and I catastrophized and I came back to
reality, and all the tests came back normal.
I have a first date with my bass teacher next week (despite
you nay-sayers!), and I can’t help but think of what an awful thing it would be
to date me and have my cancer relapse – you’re not signing up for that, or are
you? To have Damocles’ Sword hanging not only over my head, but the head of
someone, anyone, who loves me? (A sword hangs over this figure, who never knows
if or when it will fall.)
I am engaging in my life differently than pre-cancer, but I
still have places that challenge me to the point of tears, and I worry that
this will “cause” cancer again.
I am not free from this worry yet, and I am not available to
take your shipwrecked persons into my dinghy. Here’s a life-vest. Dinghy Full.
Find your own.
That said, how many people supported me, etc.etc., during
this time, I know. But, I cannot help you process, people. I’m sorry. My
compassion meter is broken. The well is dry.
That said, when I heard that a friend’s sister was just
diagnosed with AML, the same type of cancer I had, I jumped at the chance to
share my resources and what worked for me, comforted me, and helped me to
maintain my “calm at the center of the storm” which has now broken and allows
me to fall apart, engage in fun, and also to stare at that sword say, “You
f*cker.”
Therefore, your friend, sister, aunt, co-worker, barista who
has cancer? Here’s a link to my own list of what I found helpful. If you don’t
mind, please share this with them instead of asking me. I’m sorry, but my
dinghy is full. 

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