One of the many emails I received in the past week said something like, “when you open yourself up to the world, the world opens itself in return.” Before two weeks ago, I wouldn’t have believed it. I thought I needed to be bald for the world to accept me as a cancer patient. Or, that I had to be done with my treatment (in remission, or that elusive “cured”) for the world to accept me as a survivor. I think in the end it hasn’t mattered so much what my treatment status is, just that i’m honest.
And the world has opened up with a deluge of encouraging and supportive emails. Facebook messages. Articles (the highlights up on my new Media page). So many words. My friend Jessica says, “Well, if you’re ever feeling down, just open up some of these emails!”
(by Jeremy Eye)
And numbers, on my Give Forward page–money. I have been simply blown away by people’s generosity. Both from people I know, and people I don’t know. Thank you.
As I have said, chronic cancer gets expensive. Even so, I feel almost undeserving of the support.
I received a check in the mail the other day from one of my dearest friends and her husband. I know most of my friends aren’t swimming in money, so I was incredibly touched to see so many friendly names on my donation page, not to mention a check in my mailbox. I really want to be able to tell everyone that their hard-earned dollars are going to go to something really worthwhile-sounding. An endpoint of some sort, a lofty goal–”Help Lindsey Beat Cancer!”–or something like that. This is, after all, money that could have gone to my friends setting up their new life together–that’s important too. But what will these donations go to? A few doctor’s appointments, maybe. A few months of chemo. Eventually, maybe, a transplant–but I have a feeling that when the time comes I won’t feel much like celebrating that achievement/endpoint of sorts.
Yes, maybe someday the cumulative effect of all this money paid along the way will result in a “cure.” That’s the hope anyway. But right now, a few appointments and a few pills definitely don’t seem like deserving recipients of such generous and thoughtful donations. I will have a million doctor’s appointments over the course of my life, hopefully. They are all important, but they are just blips along this very long path i’m on (well, hopefully very long path). The money helps keep the path going longer.
I know–things change. I will finish grad school and (again, hopefully) become employed. I will find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I will move to Canada or my deserted island or my watermelon seeds will work their magic. Or, more likely, I will just keep being a liver. And for that, every little bit counts.
thank you, again.