Monday, January 3, 2011

As the days go by, it feels a tiny bit less shocking each time I think about it. Although I don't think you can ever get used to having a percentage tacked on to the likelihood of a loved one beating cancer. I know it's the doctor's job to be conservative, as false hope would not serve anyone well. And I think the odds are going to be very good. But still.

All I know to do at this point is to try and be there for her in the best way possible. I know my sister; she is very private. But she also has an army of wonderful friends who will soldier through this with her. They have already mobilized to pool money to get her an iPad for her to use during chemo. And they are joking about the casserole brigade. They will buy her Kindle gift cards and beautiful silk scarves. So what can I do? They are all stay at home moms; they will be able to cook for her and watch her kids and help her with errands. I live almost an hour away, and work full time. I can't give her nearly the support they can in these ways.

I am just so sensitive to not wanting to bombard her with calls or questions. I don't want her to cringe when she hears the phone ring again. I wish so badly that I knew what I could do for her. I know that if it were me, I wouldn't want to have to tell the same story over and over again; but I'm not her. I just don't know. And I NEED to do something to help.

I have always had what I would almost call a phobia, of not wanting to be a nuisance to people. A fear of the telephone - that I will interrupt people, or that they'll feel obligated to talk when they don't want to. A fear of reaching out, worried that people don't want to be bothered. It sounds silly when I try to verbalize it, but the truth is that it extends all the way to the people I love who are closest to me, with perhaps the exception of my Mom and my husband. I think what happens, with friends, co-workers, acquaintances, everyone, is that I end up missing out on relationships or even close friendships because I've been afraid to reach out or reciprocate. But now, I can't let this fear get in the way. I have to work through it. If I know M like I think I do, I suppose I should just ask her.

Today was my first day back at work after a two week holiday break. Naturally there were a few people I had to tell, as I expect to be out of the office a little over the next few weeks. I still get weepy when I tell someone for the first time; it's hard for me to understand why I continue to have this visceral reaction, as I've gotten pretty used to the news and think I have control over my emotions. My family and home life obviously keep me very busy, and help to keep my mind off of things...but last night, as has been the case several evenings since we heard the news, once I lay down with my husband and allow my mind to wander, I find my way back to this, and I cry.

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