Today was Lisa’s third chemo treatment. Number three out of fifty-eight. 58. 5. 8. This is still relatively early in her journey and the assault on her body already is phenomenal. Something that she mentioned on her own blog made me stop and think.
Maybe there comes a point when you give a sick person a break from talking about being sick.
Lisa and her husband, Tom, had stopped into our favorite pizza place last week, after one of her appointments. Because we’ve been going there regularly for several years, we know most of the staff and the managers well. Often, they will take a break and sit down to chat with us or even eat a meal. Over and over again, during lunch, Lisa had to provide updates to our friends that hadn’t seen her in a while. She said that talking about her cancer is like talking about an old boyfriend…everybody gets sick of hearing about it after a while, and she certainly gets sick of talking about it.
Perhaps the hardest part about being sick is having it take over your life and having to play the part of a sick person. Lisa has always been a go-getter. She’s not the type to sit still for long. In fact, about the only way to get her to sit still for more than an hour at a time is to get her into a darkened theater, hand her some popcorn and roll film! Having to learn to rest and allow her body to process the insults designed to rid her of this cancer are not coming easy to her. Constantly being asked about it, having to discuss it ad nauseam gets old.
I don’t know what the answer to this is. I’m not sure when I’m pushing and it’s too much or not enough. I’m trying to take my cues from Lisa and from her blog, and from my own inner barometer. She posts almost daily, and though I don’t talk to her every day, she is never far from my thoughts. I hope that she knows that I am her for her at any time, day or night. I don’t like to intrude, and Lisa is not the best about asking for help. It’s a bad combination for getting things done. Also, there are many people who also want the opportunity to be useful to Lisa, Tom and their girls. It’s only fair to give others that chance.
Maybe we both need to take a step toward each other, even if it’s just to talk about anything else besides cancer.