The flowers don’t match the message, but I wasn’t sure what would. In April, a friend was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It brought up memories and made me feel not quite OK. Cancer is never easy. Managing it during a pandemic brings another set of challenges. She has received lots of care packages and love, but it’s still hard to be OK. Comparing one cancer to the other doesn’t make sense. I used to feel like mine wasn’t bad enough at stage 1. It doesn’t mean that it didn’t impact me, wasn’t as scary or didn’t require follow ups & struggles that nobody saw.
Recently, my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. In an effort to feel like I was still in control of life, I went into planning mode. I didn’t allow myself to feel my feelings. I didn’t acknowledge the PTSD flare up and anxiety until one day when it became too much. The old me would have just spun in my head, thinking of 100 “what if’s” and been miserable. Instead, I stopped. I took 1/2 day of vacation and I connected with nature. I picked beans, sat with my chickens and got my fingers dirty pulling weeds. And, I reached out to some friends, which was another big step. I was up front and honest with them. “I’m not ok.” I needed to cry, to be mad, to admit this was hard. I needed the support. I needed to be wrapped in prayer. I needed a reminder to breathe.
How often do we put on a brave face just to seem like we are ok? It’s not just when big things happen, but often we feel like we need to be ok even when we aren’t. Someone passes you in the hall and asks how you’re doing… you say “OK” as you keep walking. We all need someone we can just be honest with. “I’m not ok today. I don’t need you to fix me, I’m not broken. I’m just not ok right now.” I was reluctant to write on this topic right before our trip to Mayo for more tests and meeting with the Urologist. But, I was also selfish. I want to have a bunch of people sending love and light and prayers and positive energy on Wednesday, Thursday & Friday. Please pray for safe travels, for health, for clear scans, for cancer to be contained to the prostate and for a plan. We are all waiting for a plan. We want to heal and fix and “do.” Some days will not be ok, but hopefully the treatments will work and we will have more time.
I wish you peace on your journey of enough. It’s ok to not be ok. Lean on your resources, call a friend, connect with nature, breathe.