Friday, March 30, 2012

Thinking about a new approach

I haven't logged in to any message boards or anything for a while lately and when I logged in yesterday, I found out that someone I knew here in town had died last week. I last saw her about a month ago when I delivered a package of things from a group of us. She'd been in hospital for three weeks at that point and I spent a bit of time with her and her sister. Because I didn't see the post that she'd stopped treatment and I don't read the obituaries, I didn't know that she died and so I didn't go to the funeral.

I feel very sad that I didn't log in to the board early enough to see that she had died. At the same time, I feel weird about logging into the board because the mets I have are stable and have been for so long. It isn't that it's too hard to deal with the death or the realities of the illness, although those can be difficult to deal with. No, I'm uncomfortable because I feel out of place since my disease and side effects are so much less worrisome than almost everyone else's.

There's only one other person I know of on the board whose disease is minimal and stable like mine and she almost never posts. I don't know how often she checks in - it's more often than I do, that's for sure. I guess I could check in without posting like she does but I have trouble making myself do that sometimes... well, most of the time.

I care so much for all of the people on the board and I want to be there for them, However, when I post a reply to someone who isn't doing well I feel like my words are really a bit empty, as though I'm one of those people who don't have mets who comment on people's posts when they're not doing well. I guess I could just not post on those threads and only post on threads where people are asking for good thoughts or prayers. Instead I've been avoiding the situation altogether, which I'm fairly certain isn't the best strategy.

I think I would be better if I were to try a new approach of checking more often but only posting when it's necessary. That way I could keep in touch with people and I'd know what's going on without trumpeting my long-term stable status.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

Hi Chantelle! Isn't it possible that rather than making the people on the boards feel worse, it makes them feel better? Doctors hate anecdotal evidence, but it is what keeps patients going. If you are there, on the boards, posting that although you still have mets, you are stable, it allows others to believe that they might be able to do that too. I think the fact that you have mets and have been stable for so long that you are living a full life must be incredibly inspiring to others on the board.

Unless people outright ask you to stop posting, or otherwise communicate to you that they don't appreciate your input (which I doubt will happen)I would recommend that you simply continue communicating with these people who have become your friends.

You haven't beaten the cancer yet, but it's made two good tries and you're still here, moving on, buying a house, getting a dog... that's inspiring. I don't think it's fair to take that away from people whose doctors are probably withholding hope "for their own good". Given your situation, you ARE the light at the end of the tunnel. You ARE hope.

I hope I'm not out of line. I've never had cancer, but it's 20 years this month since my Dad died.