I have been asked why I so readily share the details of my physical and emotional journey in such a public forum. It has even been suggested that maybe, just maybe, it is a bit too personal, too intimate, too delicate. And while I hadn't considered it, perhaps there is something to that observation. I know that there can be such a thing as too much information. It even has its own acronym, TMI. Am I guilty of oversharing, making others feel uncomfortable in the process? Gee, I hope not. But This has gotten me to thinking that maybe I should explain myself.
Let's face it: we tend to push the boundaries today. In fact, I continue to be surprised at what people readily discuss on social media and in casual conversation. Few feel that they cannot express their political and social views, an idea that extends to both liberals and conservatives alike. There seems to be an ongoing dialogue about the state of the nation and the world, even when we don’t agree. I think that’s a good thing, especially if it leads to a greater understanding.
So it never occurred to me that my posts might be objectionable. But let me go out on a limb here and say that I have the best of intentions. I only wanted to help. Honestly, I had no idea that I was at risk for ovarian cancer, given my age, current health, and family history. Had I stumbled across a blog like mine while I was chasing my diagnosis, I might have insisted on proper testing that might have led me to earlier treatment. Maybe I’d be looking at stage one instead of stage four, which is a dismal number, a statistical dose of cold hard reality, regardless of how it is delivered. So yes, I would love to be able to spare someone else from meeting with a similar fate. Wouldn’t that alone make it worth taking the time to write? I sure do hope so.
And I have also thought that perhaps for others who walk a similar path, there may be some comfort, a few words of encouragement that I am able to pass along. This is such a learning experience for me, and I suppose I am the consummate teacher, wanting to share that knowledge. I continue to be surprised by the beauty of the lessons that unfold daily, opening my heart and renewing my spirit. There is peace to be had, and while it is often hard-won, it is so worth the discovery. But ethereal things aside, I am also learning practical stuff like how to make a power smoothie filled with immune-boosting ingredients, and which vitamins help with neuropathy. Perhaps a future blog post will contain all of these helpful hints.
But truth be told, I guess have a little bit of a selfish bit of motivation, too. Had I kept my illness in the shadows, coped with it in silence, would I have rediscovered precious friendships? Would I have encountered kindness from people who just want to show they care? And most of all, would I be the beneficiary of the many prayers that people are saying for me? At the risk of being repetitive, I am in awe of the power of those collective voices whose supremacy I feel in the very core of my being. And so yes, sharing the details of my illness has brought me these blessings, along with indescribable support. I gather great strength from it.
We tend to be afraid of what we don’t understand. And sometimes, when we see someone we know stumble and fall, we fear that we might as well. But such is human nature. Perhaps that instinct is a reminder to us that we are all connected as children of God. Our lungs breathe in the same air, and each of our lives is a sentence in the story of the universe. As our paths cross, those chapters are threaded together. It is inevitable. And so, if you have read my blog, whispered a prayer on my behalf, posted a comment on Facebook, I thank you. If you have called, sent a card, brought over a meal or came to sit with me, I am eternally grateful. In sharing this journey with you all, I hope to discover something worthwhile, something helpful, significant, and meaningful. I have to keep trying. And I hope that you will stay the course with me. I really do need the company.