Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Guest Post - Oh, how I need relief!

The following was written in a moment of exhaustion and desperation by a dear friend who is going through breast cancer for the 2nd time. She just finished chemo to shrink the mass, which is too deep for biopsy, for surgical removal. 

"First, I know this is ungrateful of me. And yet, I feel this way and have to speak my mind while I’m feeling it. I am exhausted. My judgment is probably very poor. But I’m so tired, I don’t even give a damn. There, see? You see what happens? I’m too tired to even go backspace that away. 

I’m tired. Quit asking me if you can help. Don’t tell me to call you if there is anything you can do. If you don’t mean it, quit saying it. So many people want to tell me that they admire me. Don’t admire me. I don’t need admiration. I need help. I need love. Don’t tell me you love me, either. Unless you are willing to DO. Because love is a verb. An action word. Even my son can tell you that. And don’t think you can DO from your house, you gotta actually leave it. Come over. Help. Physically. More than a phone call. Because at the end of the day, the phone call may make me smile for a moment. But more often than not, it simply uses up my little bit of energy in my attempt to sound more pleasant on the phone. I’d rather have you visit. Come lift some of the burden. Come help with the things I don’t have the ability or energy to do, the things that need doing. 

You see me come to church, you see me smile, you see or hear my positive attitude, so therefore I’m fine. Right? I must not need anything. Right? Wrong. Where are you? Give my kid a ride to mutual. Or to school. Or home from school. Or come help me pack, I’m moving. I know I’m leaving, but I haven’t left yet. I’m here. I am buried in stuff that needs to be done, and don’t have the energy that a normal person has. I can’t do it alone. I admit it. I need you. I need your boxes. I need your able hands and bodies. I need your strong backs and energy. I can’t fold laundry without becoming exhausted. Let alone pack a kitchen. Or disassemble beds. Or clean a litter box. Each task I manage knocks me out for days. I can’t afford to take that long. Are you a friend? Do you love me? Or do you just say these things because they look nice on paper? Or in print? Do you mean it? I’m not sure I believe you. I’m tired. I’m too tired to worry that this might offend someone. I’m too tired to worry that people will think I’m ungrateful. I’m so grateful for those who have helped. Those who have done something to make my burden lighter. 

I’m just telling you, the burden is still there. It is heavier alone than with you, my friend. I need more. And I feel like I have to beg to get it. I’m tired of asking. Someone, someone somewhere has to be listening. Someone, somewhere, has to know that He has no hands but yours. And that I’m pleading for you to come help me. Come do. Don’t ask permission! Just do! I need you. Do I ask too much? Yes, I'm sure I do. I'm a spoiled, rotten brat. And don't deserve anything more than what I'm getting. I'm sure. It must be so. Right? Oh, how I need relief!"

My friend does have people rallying round to get her through her upcoming surgery and move, but it's moment to moment getting through the rough times, and having people planning to help tomorrow often doesn't change the panic and despair of the moment.