Monday, May 7, 2007

Incredible People and Support

In a strange way there are some positive aspects about having this disease. Don't get me wrong, I wish that it had never happened to me, but since I'm an optimist and like to see the good in each situation, I'll highlight some of those things.

1) My wife and daughter. They have been amazing. My wife is worried, but caring and supportive. She takes care of me when I need it. This has involved an enormous amount of time and energy. She comforts me when I need it. She doesn't complain. She doesn't blame me. She doesn't snap back when I'm anxious or sharp. She wants me to get better, but knows the reality of my situation. My teen daughter is caring and has asked recently how I am. She cares for me greatly, but wants life to be "normal." As such she doesn't ask too often. I think this is normal.

2) My sibings (their spouses) and my dad. They care greatly and have shown their care through frequent visits, staying in touch, small gifts, and sharing with me how I have impacted their lives in a positive manner. I didn't know some of this until I had cancer. It has been truly touching.

3) My personal friends, work friends, and close relatives from around the world. They too care and have shown their care through visits, gifts (some of which have been extravagant), phone calls, e-mails, and most recently IM (srwiser at AIM). They keep me posted on what's up in their life and care about what's up in mine. I share with them the latest updates on my health, good books or DVDs I've read/watched, and news stories of interest. On the whole, I seem to have more people interested in me now than before the cancer. It has helped me see a whole new side of people who are incredibly giving. I am trying to learn from their generosity.

4) My medical team. They are some of the worlds best, they seem to care, they work incredibly hard, and they seem to know me. A few are a bit more distant than others, but on the whole, it is a magnificient team. My expectations are that they be honest wth me, upfront about my prognosis and treatment side effects, that they act as a team, and that they be proactive. I give them an A on the first two items, a B+ on item 3, and a B- on item 4. I dislike going to the hospital. I know it will be a long day, a long drive, a disruption in my daily routine, I'll be poked, proded, and jabbed, and I'll have to wait. Although I'm on time (a personal flaw), I usually have to wait, but the waiting lately has been getting better and the scheduling team much friendlier.

My one disappointment are a few friends who seem to have distanced themselves from my family and myself. Maybe we weren't really good friends or maybe they don't know how to handle someone who is in our situation. I find this sad.

On the positive side, I have a few new friends and pen pals who really seem to care and can overlook my speech and eating disabilities. I like to think of this as true friendship.

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