Last week was a whirlwind for me.
Friday-Off for Funeral
My sister-in-law’s father passed away. He had a stroke back when my dad had a stroke. My dad passed away after his…her dad has lived 10 years with the aftermath of his stroke. He lost his voice as well as ability to move freely…what a trooper to have fought through that for 10 years!!
It was both a happy and sad day for the the family and we wanted to be there with them…so off we went to Minnesota.
I took some paper piecing with to do along the way. The road was bumpy and it was hard to attach these to the large block. I gave up on attaching them and decided to just make more and more and more of these three piece units.
It was good to hang out with family. I got all of the “how are you doooing?” questions. It’s the question all people with cancer dread. (I probably shouldn’t say that…I know I dread it-others might like it) Coming from my family, it’s all okay. I know they truly care about me.
This has happened several times to me since I told everyone that I have a cancer return …I am asked the dreaded “how are you doooing?” question. I say “great”…the person says, “well I read the blog and know about ‘the’ cancer”. So “how are you doooing?”. I said I feel great….and I do. I said I am so blessed, I have no symptoms at all…and that’s the truth. I do feel great.
My goal through ALL of this cancer stuff is NOT to be defined by ‘the’ cancer. I am still Jo. I am Jo first and foremost. Cancer is just a secondary thing. I am so much more than cancer.
I do know when people ask that, they are trying to show their concern…I know that everyone means well…it’s still hard sometimes.
I was explaining this all to Kalissa and she said she totally understands because people ask her, “how is your mom doooing?” She said that she knows they ask in regards to cancer when they say that.
We tried to think of another way people could ask and we decided it’s better to be upfront and say, “I’ve heard you’ve been doctoring. I’m sorry to hear that.” Then the person with cancer can chose to talk about it or not. This way the person is not forced to talk about it…and the person knows that you care rather than just trying to catch the latest gossip.
Enough about that….Back to my Friday story.
I was the driver on the way home. Hubby was up at 3:30am so he could do chores before leaving for the funeral. He’s a good car sleeper so I drove to let him take a nap.
His nap was cut short as we stopped at Menards. We needed some more shelving. We need something in the basement to hold some of the things waiting to go to the antique booth. We also checked out a few other things…
After that, we stopped at Staples and look what happened!! I got a coil binder put on the String Frenzy book. YAHOO!! I love a coil binding. It was $6ish. I don’t remember exactly.
After that we stopped to eat at the bar in Ionia. The food there is really good. They make the best Reuben sandwich. See the hodge-podge basket? That’s a HALF of basket. Oh my.
As we got home I got news from my niece…I’ll share more about that another day but she gave me LOTS to think about….
I had made plans to do this and do that when I got home but I couldn’t do a single thing. I was too busy with thoughts scrambling through my head.
About then Hubby looked out the window and said, “I think the weatherman was right. It started snowing!”
We ended up with a first snow of 5″. It’s cold enough so who knows but it might be here to stay. I’m not ready for snow…
But life brings us things when we’re least ready whether it’s cancer or snow. At 52 years old, I should be used to it by now or any other thing. I’m glad I can sandwich those things between some family time, some Hubby time and a little bit of quilting.
Jo, I see in the Menard’s cart you have shelving. Can you really purchase additional shelves for a unit????
I think the focus on cancer comes from people who haven’t experienced it in their close circle of family or friends. They aren’t aware that we choose the cancer not to be center court but rather, the person is center court. Those of us who have, wouldn’t say it that way. We’d simply say “how are you?” like we would anyone else we greet.
LOVE the spiralized book! I need to do that with a few of mine. Thanks for the idea.
When I know someone who has a serious illiness, I ask them “how’s your health?”
It puts a different spin on your concern and the person’s responds.
I always say.. I’ve been thinking about you… anything you need or I can do for you? Then if they chose to elaborate or not.. it’s up to them. Coming from someone who knows..
I learned that it works well to ask people with health concerns to simply ask, “How are you today?” That leaves them the opportunity to update you or simply say, “I’m okay today.” because they are OK in all other regards. Or as one friend said, “It’s a good day.”
When Mom went through the cancer ordeal and heard that same crazy question she often replied, “with my fingers just like you do”. I know people mean well, but sometimes just don’t think about how it sounds. Hang in there! We are all praying for you without you having to deal with lots of questions.
Your response is a good one. It’s something I understand better after losing my husband. feelings are complicated and talking about them requires true concern, time and a place to discuss without distractions. I try to forgive the ones that don’t know any better. I pray that you continue to have strength to deal with the cancer prognosis.
Thank you for sharing and also thanks to the comments. I have an acquaintance whose young daughter’s cancer has returned. This will help me the next time I see her.
It so nice that you could both attend the funeral and I will be more careful when I ask about someone health. I ask because I’m concerned but I now can see it from the other persons perspective, lots to think about.