I’ve had four tests since March, and now I’ve got more to do. Plus wait again for the results.
I write about strong women, and I’m an independent gal who can handle my share of hardships. But those past two weeks, I was terrified.
Here’s what I really learned:
Waiting is Hard. I’m a planner. This year I’m doing a fun part-time gig in San Francisco and completing a novel. You can’t work productively when you’re doing chemotherapy. A friend said, “You’ve not been diagnosed. Therefore you don’t have cancer.” When I started to panic, I thought of his words.
You Don’t Control Your Illnesses. There’s a New Age theory that suggests we’re all responsible for our illnesses. This kind of thinking drives me crazy. Still, when I wondered whether I should have eaten more vegetables and fruit, the oncologist said, “I don’t want you blaming yourself.” Wondering about that wouldn’t have helped.
Kindness Matters. A friend offered to go to hospital with me time and time again. People on Facebook wished me well, and when I posted that everything was benign, they left wonderful comments. A friend in Italy enjoying her vacation took time to text me and say, “I wish I could be there for you.” These acts–and many, many others–meant so much to me.
I learned a lesson about trusting others. You don’t have to cope alone. Other people can help you get through hardship.