Friday, July 22, 2011

Watching Cancer from the outside

I had a melt down last night. I just couldn't help myself. I read a post by Olivia's Mom about the initial chemo session. I felt as if I was side swiped by a mac truck.

I think she wrote something like "happier news, we are getting Olivia a pixie cut. I don't want to think about her long hair coming out in clumps."

Like a time machine I was thrown back to the day I went into my hairdresser at the time and asked him to do the same thing to my hair. I told him why and he was nearly incapable of continuing. He couldn't say another word the whole time I was there. It seemed practical enough to me to ask to have my hair cut. After all, if anyone should have been upset, it should have been me. But his discomfort in cutting my hair challenged my charge ahead and deal with it attitude. It was far more difficult for him to cut my hair than for me to have it cut. I never did go back to see him. He made me uncomfortable in this discomfort. I understand him better now.

I suppose for me then, I didn't have the bandwidth to worry about how my Cancer made him feel. But as I fell apart last night I realized how much more difficult it really is to watch someone go through Cancer than to have it yourself.

Having chemo, sitting in a chair and have chilling poison pumped into your body is not fun by any means, but to hold the hand of the person who is being poisoned is heart wrenching. I think about my husband as he stood by my side and how he must have felt all those many years ago, it must have been next to impossible. I think about my children and how they watched me as my hair fell out, and I became ill, and I think how incredibly scary it must have been. Cancer takes so much more of a toll on those around than people think. A lot of attention is placed on the Cancer "warrior", but those people who stand by them are the reason the war is possible at all. They are warriors whose only weapon is love. No battle can be won without them.

Olivia has 4 kinds of chemo being used on her "to start". Her parents are leaning toward the regime that would require stem cells to rescue her. Her Mom is asking people who knit to consider knitting a cap for Olivia. I don't knit and I wish I was a stem cell so I could rescue all of them. All I have is love for them.

Last night I told Glenn I had to get this out of my system so I can help. So I let myself, let down and just be incredibly sad. Now I can put my focus into things that are more positive. #1. Make Lasagna for the familysome day soon #2. See if the boys would like to come and meet my dogs and give the grandparents/parents a little break. #3. Do a better job of getting people to sign up for Cheers to the Cure. #4. End Cancer.

Ok the last one is a little tricky.

You can help.