If you have read these posts from the first one, you are now aware (and probably in shock a bit) that I have shared the news that I have a cancerous brain tumor that is going to clip my life much shorter than I imagined. Being that I am still in shock myself about this news, please know that I write this next part somewhat selfishly (for my own sanity at the moment and hopefully as a means to help you to wrap your head around this news as well).
1. I am dying (Yes, I know we all are, but it is very likely I will die in the next couple years).
2. Sharing that news with people I love breaks their hearts too. I really understand that. They have to grieve the awfulness of it as well and go through the stages of grief.
3. You don't know what to say. Perfect. No, really. It is a perfect response. Nothing you can say will fix this, make it better, or heal it. Please just be present with me. That is all I need. Be my friend. Hug me, kiss me, tell me you will pray for courage for me, tell me that you love me. Let me be sad. I need to be able to be sad right now, for awhile. It's okay for us to just be sad about this together. Let me cry and make totally stupid jokes, and do dumb things like name my tumor 'Cordelia.' It's my way of coping with all of this.
4. Please stop telling me about your uncle's brother's cousin who had a cancerous brain tumor and lived. Stop telling me about gamma knives, and tumeric, and technological advances in the future. Please trust that I will research everything to a fault, every option possible, and so will my top notch surgeon sister. Please understand that because you Googled that some people live ten years with chordomas (I got about 15 of those stats:) )...that doesn't mean that my situation falls within parameters that allow such a thing to occur. My tumor is sitting right on top of a major artery- I can't survive chemotherapy or radiation. I hope I will be able to have surgery to extend the years, but it's too soon to know. When the expert (the person who hunts and extracts these vile things for a living) tells me what my options are, and I have a plan, I will share it with you. It is human nature to want to comfort and find solutions for problems. That I understand. But please, wait.
5. Laugh with me. Laughter is going to be such a key piece in coping with all of this. Help me to make my time left amazing. Do bucket list things with me, simple lovely things like taking a walk or drinking tea with me, sharing a pun on facebook, or a great music video. Tell me about your family, your stories, and your joys and sorrows. It's small things that always delight my days. My treasure has always been and will always be my friendships.
6. Keep in mind that Jesus is my soul's great love. I have been waiting my entire life to be with Him. When the time comes for me to go home, I will be ready to run into His arms. There is no angst for me or doubt about what happens after our Earthly death. Love is eternal. God's ways sometimes seem confusing and unfair, but I have complete faith and trust in Him whom my heart loves.
7. To heck with my 'Nutella and Strawberries only on my birthday' rule. I am now going to eat it whenever I want to! :)