It’s the holidays, and I’m weary. I am generally quite successful at living in the moment, savoring the day, embracing what life has to offer, most especially around the holidays, when the world if filled with good cheer and egg nog. (OK, I’m kidding about that…I’ve never had egg nog.)
But right now I’m weary…
Maybe is it overload from the incredible but challenging San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, maybe it’s some year-end craziness at the office, maybe it’s the weather (which I’m not going to expand on for fear of being mocked by those of you who live in INSANELY COLD places!), and maybe, mostly likely, it’s being tired of cancer.
I am on the cusp of 11 years since my primary diagnosis, and about 18 months of treatments that will only end when they stop working. It’s “pin cushion day” – 3 injections and a blood draw. Please know I am so grateful that I’m not still sitting in the infusion center! I know my treatments could be so much harder. They could leave me sick, tired, bald. I know that I am blessed to not have my energy or immune system compromised. I really, really know how bad it can be. And knowing people who are going through the worst cancer can mete out, I feel foolish complaining….
Knowing those people doesn’t change where I’m at either, though. And the thing is, I’m pretty sure all of that is out there for me…. That there will likely be a day, and I have no idea how soon, when the “easy” treatments will cease to work for me and I’ll move on to the next, more serious assault on my body. I know, too, that treatments will probably get progressively harder, maybe to the point where we don’t know if the disease or the therapy is worse.
I don’t dwell in that place. But I know that it’s there. Every day it lurks. I know, too, that tomorrow hinges on my monthly marker. Did it go up? Down? “Steady” (the range for which my doctor and I have very different tolerances)? It no longer colors everything, the way it did a year ago, but it matters.
So I guess all of this is to say, at this season of joy and light, when malls are bustling to the strains of holiday muzak, please take a moment to share your light with someone who may be quietly sitting in darkness. It may be cancer, or depression, or loneliness, or any number of things. Your willingness to reach out, to listen, to care – that’s what the season is really about, isn’t it?
That, and maybe an egg nog latte?