I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends
We are draining my abdomen again tomorrow. I am relieved that I will get another reprieve from the swelling (and hopefully some more good nights of sleep), but I am not looking forward to another huge needle though my side. Between all these procedures and the twice daily injections, my midsection very much resembles a pincushion these days.
Dr. Carter assures me that the ongoing fluid build up does not mean the cancer is coming back. It usually takes the second round of chemo for this to stop. We ran my blood work yesterday and it looked excellent, so I'm hopeful everything is doing what it should. Other than the swollen abdomen, I am feeling much better and am hoping next week I can get out and enjoy the pretty spring we are starting to have.
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When I went to Storyline in November, I had the chance to hear the remarkable story of two life-long friends, one of whom had been struck with an illness that caused him to lose control of his body and spend his life in a wheelchair. The men decided to tackle a particularly rough trek through the mountains of Spain (if I remember correctly) and they filmed their experience. Hearing them talk about navigating this road with a wheelchair was nothing short of inspiring.
One of the two is a graphic designer, and he created some beautiful prints to help raise funds to launch their documentary. Many are sitting in my inspiration chamber, but the one I like the best reads:
If you deprive someone of the opportunity to help you, you deprive them of the joy in life!
The purchase was inspired by a conversation I had with a dear friend just before leaving for the conference. She had been struggling with allowing others to help her in a time of need.
These many months later, I can so relate. And I find myself looking to that print as a reminder that its okay to to ask for help.
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I have lived alone for going on 6 years now, and have learned to do nearly everything for myself. When Evan and I separated, I couldn't get my head around all the things I didn't know how to do. He paid the bills, dealt with most of our service providers, did all the mandatory house-type things. I remember sobbing to Tim that I was sure my life would fall apart because there was no way I could handle it all on my own. But I figured it out. I don't love that this is the way it is, but it is.
Its become unusual for me to ask for help with anything house related, and its always been really difficult for me to share my emotions with others. But one of the first things I learned in recovery is that isolating myself and holding those things in is about the worst thing I could do. So I made a deal with myself that I wouldn't do that in this space. I've had to learn to ask friends to spend the night when I don't want to be alone. I've had to ask to sleepover their homes when I just need to be out of here. I've learned to ask for rides because my back is still too hurt drive, for company when I'm lonely, and for help with little things around the house that I would normally stubbornly try to do on my own.
Kasey keeps reminding me that asking for help allows others to be a part of my story. Rachel tells me again and again that grace lives in the fact that there are things others do for us that we can simply never repay. Sammy has reminded me at least five times that it is unnecessary to thank him every five minutes for his help. God gives us each other for times like these.
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Becky pointed out to me recently how much the recent changes in my life are holding me up right now. I had been lamenting through tears that all the good had been stolen away by cancer when she pointed out how opposite that really is. My yogi and recovery communities have lifted me up in unimaginable ways - people from both areas who I have never even hugged sending me daily texts or notes of encouragement. I found I have a meditation coach, medical intuitive, spiritual director, and feng shui adviser right at my fingertips, without my having to search for them. All the things that will help me come through this have been delivered to me thanks to the work I put in over the last few years.
As Sammy pointed out - God made sure I would have everything I need for this trial. All there is for me to do now is to use those gifts.