Monday, September 7, 2009

Surround Yourself With Support

Cancer has a funny way of changing your priorities. It starts when the chemo kicks in. You are simply too debiliated to continue your normal routine. So you have to make choices in order to get through each day. You ask yourself: Do I have enough energy to make dinner and clean the kitchen? Or should I simply order in? Should I make three sales presentations on Friday--three days after chemo--or reschedule some appointments the next week, knowing that after a Wednesday chemo treatment, Friday is the day I crash.

Out of neccessity, I mastered the art of hoarding my energy. And my energy conservation didn't stop with my job responsibilities or maintaining my home. I found out quickly who I could count on for the support I needed and who couldn't step up to the plate. Most of my closest and oldest friends and family were totally there to do what they could. There were even distant cousins and friends of friends who literally came out of the woodwork with there touching cards, calls and gifts. All this outpouring of love and support made me realize that I do matter here on earth. That if I were gone, I would truly be missed. No question, that helped me keep my chin up and carry on the battle.

As far as the friends I realized I couldn't count on, I decided expending energy to maintain a relationship with them was simply not worth the effort. The people that enveloped me in a blanket of love and support were feeding me, the people that weren't, were depleting me. It was that simple.

Suddenly, book titles like Don't Sweat The Small Stuff and Living The Simple Life became the mantras of my life. Now that my cancer treatment is behind me, it has become easier to let things roll off my back--I don't want extraneous things to worry about. I embrace the mundane. What's more, I don't take the important relationships in my life for granted. When it's my turn to give back the love and support to those that gave it to me, you can bet I will be there.

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