A most interesting thing happened to me yesterday and it still makes me shake my head. I guess in some ways I figure everyone and their dog has heard my story about cancer and so I don't talk much about it anymore. It has been 10 years or more and I really don't want to become that boring person who has nothing new to say and just keeps reiterating how sick she has been.....I have known of few of those in my life and really do not want to become one!!!! Well, it seems that I have guessed wrong...esp when it comes to people who I have known for half my life but only see on rare occasions.
I was blessed to meet with a very old and dear friend the other day.....I had seen her a year ago but before that it had been some time. Distance is mainly the reason, but changes in life stories and new chapters for both of us seemed to keep us too busy.....we facebook but that too has been mainly pictures and family updates. Anyways, we met and as usual never missed a beat in talking about our families and the news that our children are involved in, new jobs, new partners, new grandchildren (for her). Well, as we sat and chatted she asked me a question and I was taken back.....she had no idea really about the story of my cancer and the journey I have been on medically or personally in any detail. This shouldn't surprise me, because I too realized I knew very little about someone and their journey with cancer recently. It is amazing how we can talk and chat and sometimes never get the full picture. Well, I had the courage to ask my friend to tell me her story recently, and this is the same thing that happened to me.
I filled her in on the 'story' of my journey and it was strange in many ways talking about it so completely. It was almost as if I was listening to myself tell it but had moved on so much in many ways, I was a third party listening to my own story. I really did think that I had told and re-told everyone, and it came to me that maybe that isn't really so. I began to think of people in my life, especially old friends from the East that I haven't really spent a lot of time with over the past few years. I am sure they know that I have been sick....I mean the East Coast is pretty small and nothing travels faster down there than bad news. But, I probably have never spoken about it personally to a number of people. Not that I am now going to contact each one, or send a completed version of my sordid struggle with cancer, but it makes me wonder if there are others who don't know the whole story.
Why I am even talking about this is because although it was 'old' news for me, I watched her face and saw the same look I had seen so many times over 10 years ago. It was not 'old' news for her and it was hard for her to hear. I guess in many ways this story doesn't really get old in some ways. The first time you hear it, it is as fresh as it was originally. I am so glad that she asked me that question because if she is anything like me, she wanted it from the horses mouth and not just other peoples version.
I am humbled by how much people care, and this was one of those moments even so many years later where that was the case again. It is a real blessing when you are given the ability to see how much you are loved in life and how people really do want to know your story.....I am a very lucky person in so many ways....and again this trip has given me a new experience and something more to reflect on.!!!!