“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at a time of challenge and controversy.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
…..BUT THE JOURNEY
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about my dreams. Do I still have them? Can I waste the energy and finances pursuing them at this point? Everything about cancer is so expensive. They called about a genetic test and told me that even with insurance I had a crazy out of pocket cost. First of all, I saw how much blood you took from me. Unless my blood turned to liquid gold, why does ANY test you're running on it cost so much?? *eye roll* But truly, I had dreams before all of this. I mean...I still have dreams, I'm just not sure how feasible they are right now. I'm feeling a lot of uncertainty about my future. If I survive this, do things just go back to the way they were? Do I just keep teaching like this was just another bump in the road? I've seen quotes that says cancer changes you but my question is how? How does it change you? Can you prepare for it or is it something that just happens over time? Will I still want the same things out of life when this is all said and done? I have more questions than answers these days. Sigh.
The support continues and it's been very humbling. I've had lots of people reach out to me and offer their sympathy and want to know how they can help. That is an impossible question for me to answer on so many levels and for so many reasons. One of those reasons is that I do not have a lot of answers right now. I can't tell you what I need because I don't know what to expect and I don't know how to plan for the unknown. The only suggestion I have is to pretend I'm drowning(because that's not far from the truth) and just do something. I honestly do not know what I need, so I'm having the hardest time giving suggestions on what could possibly help me right now. But I can say this, a hug goes a long way. My biggest struggle right now is learning how to accept support from others and not let it make me feel bad in the process. STRUGGLE BUS! I'm the worst. I've been so scared to ask for help due to this fear of being rejected that I've just gotten in the habit of doing it myself. It's a fault for sure. Everyone keeps saying I'm strong and I can do this, and maybe I can. But there are times I'm downright dumb. I am going to have to learn the balance between self reliance and allowing people to help me. I make hard situations harder because I can't stand the idea of appearing weak. I'm learning that admitting you need help takes more strength than hiding it.
The cycle of grief is real. And there is a lot to grieve with all of this. But at the end of the cycle I come back to the thought that it's ok. Ok is my go to phrase. I'm ok. I'm fine. Default responses that seem to cover a lot of things. There's a difference in the ok's for me though. My faith in Jesus Christ tells me that in the end all things will be OK. In the interim I try to be just lowercase ok until that great day comes. I know that my body will be healed in time. Whether that's on earth or in Heaven. So it's all going to be OK. God has this. But there are plenty of times in the night when I can't sleep and my mind is racing and I realize that I'm not ok. Those moments hurt the most. Mainly because the fear can be really overwhelming. But then morning rolls around and there are plenty of things to do. Plenty of things to remind me that I have a lot of living left to do in the meantime and in between time. And surprisingly enough, I'm ok again. I'm working on the ok being for longer spells but I do believe God has this under control.
Wills. Can we take a moment to just embrace the sucky nature of Wills. It means that someone has died. Even if that person was suffering, loss is still hard. Well...I never thought that a Will would be a big deal in my life at 30 years old, but guess what? I have to have a medical advanced directive on file. I'm sure the more responsible 30 year old people out there already have one, but this is one place where I'm a definite slacker! And I'm in a sticky spot with it all. Going through a divorce means I'm still married so I have to make changes that make it clear that medical decisions don't go to my spouse, especially since it usually defaults to the next of kin. Then I have to make an impossible choice. When you get married it is a given that you become the next of kin. But now I'm separated and I have to figure out who will serve as my medical proxy. Who will make the choices for my medical care if I'm unable to do so? But it's even worse because all my blood family live far away from here! So I haven't filled it out yet. They ask me almost every single time I come to the hospital if I have an emergency contact and I just say not yet. It's a weird place to be in life. Even though there are lots of people ready and willing to help, questions like that make me feel alone. I don't want to choose one parent over another. I don't want to pick one sibling over another. That is a big responsibility to give someone and there's no family here in Utah to which that would default. Who do you ask to stand in for you when you can't? Who? I don't know. That's why it's still blank.
In Alma there's the story of a king who is caught up in the Spirit. The wife of the king delivers a line that has given me something to think about. She tells Ammon that some people say her husband stinks because he is dead and that he should be buried. But she doesn't think he stinks and wanted Ammon to weigh in on the situation. I thought it was interesting that so many people could look at a situation and come up with so many outcomes. In life we are faced with so many different situations. And the world is really quick to give it meaning or to dismiss it has happenstance. As I've navigated these waters there have been many many many reasons and interpretations given as to the why. There are lots of things I could tell myself to make myself feel better. I could even take it a step further and believe it too! Or I could continue to pray for Heavenly Father to reveal His hand when He is good and so ready, cause we all know that is when it is gonna happen anyway. So yeah. This situation has me constantly seeking further light and knowledge and I know that it will come in time. And in time, if I'm faithful, I'll see this situation through the only eyes that really matter.