Clergygirl Cancer Counsel #5


Community:

We’ve been camping again this weekend.  We arrived yesterday afternoon.  Somehow between setting up and bedtime the ties under our pop-up trailer came undone.  Weather they weren’t secure when Jeremy set it up or one of the kiddos pulled on them.  Anyway….during the night my poor sleeping Elijah (19 months) rolled into the crack and fell right through to the ground.  I knew instantly what had happened when I heard him cry.  I started yelling “he fell out of the camper Jeremy!”  Jeremy half awake ran outside and got him.  He was so upset.  So was his mama.  We both cried.  We got him calmed down and he snuggled up next to me on the safe side the rest of the night. 

How horrible to be sleeping, warm and snug, then all of a sudden “bam,”  you wake up only to hit the hard rocky ground in the middle of the night.  What a rude awakening. 

This was a little how cancer was for me.  I was pretty safe and happy in my warm environment till one day “bam,” you have cancer.  I was just going about my business and then I rolled and fell plummeting into a downward spiral.  I woke dazed and confused.

When Elijah fell, we immediately examined him to make sure he was alright.  We turned the awful lights on and were immediately blinded.  He was crying his pitiful little cry.  Jeremy went to fill his bottle.  Jeremy wanted to turn the lights out but I wasn’t convinsed he was OK. 

I pulled him close to me and kissed, and kissed and kissed him.  I kept running my hand over his head to feel if he had any bumps that might be growing.  Even though I was terribly uncomfortable sleeping on my side with my post-mastectomy body I wouldn’t move because I didn’t want to let go of him.  I wanted him to know I was there.  We didn’t move the rest of the night.

When I took my own cancer fall I am happy to say I had a great community of support to help me.  I’m sure there were times when those I’m close to wanted so bad to hug me and hold me close and erase this misserable stuff that was happening to me.  When my world came crashing down I was in a daze and needed support.

If you are experiencing your own cancer fall right now I want to tell you right now is not the time to be shy.  Hopefully you have a community of support through your family, church or network of friends.  But if you don’t, I would encourage you to find a community that will travel this journey with you.  A church is a great place to start. 

My church family has called, written cards and brought meals.  Many people have offered help with childcare.  They also prayed over me and for me throughout this journey.  Any church you go to should respond in this way.  Call the pastor and explain the situation if you aren’t connected anywhere.  Even if you think religion is hog wash….you still need support. 

Cancer is a horrible diagnosis.  The initial shock is something that cannot really be explained if you haven’t experienced it.  But having a supportive network around you makes a world of difference.  It makes traveling this journey a little less painful.

By the way.  Elijah is just fine.  So am I.  You will be too.

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