This was actually supposed to be the first of two companion pieces ‘Feeling the fear’ is the other one. I had started to write this when I got the news from twitter about Sarah. I no longer was in the right frame of mind to continue writing this post and wrote and posted ‘Feeling the fear’ instead. For those of you who come here from my link on facebook and are thinking to yourselves that you didn’t see a link to that post – don’t worry there wasn’t one. I didn’t want comments on FB about what I wrote. Again I would reiterate that I would rather have comments here than on FB.
As you know I’ve been feeling a little sentimental and weepy lately.
I feel loved.
Even when fear and darker thoughts crowd my mind, that is what pulls me through it. I am loved by my family, OH supports me in everything I do, and my girls show they love me every single day. Often it is not spoken but on Mother’s Day when MD put as her FB status ‘ I love you, Mum xox’ it made me feel really good. Not all 23 yr olds have that relationship with their mother (and/or are willing to admit it to ‘the world’ on FB) Likewise OD writes about me on her blog and I can feel the love there as well. Even YD ends every phone call with ‘Love you’.
Through this journey with “Gertrude”, I have felt loved by my wider circle of family and friends and I think deeper and more meaningful relationships/friendships have developed because of it.
“And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
“And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying.”
Are some of the lyrics from the Tim McGraw song I mentioned in ‘Feeling the fear’ and I think they have been true for me.
I even feel loved and supported by my University classmates. While I have made some very close friends there as well (AW, N, AE), there is also an underlying general message of support from all my classmates. EC randomly proclaims ” I love you, Jenny” and others show their support and caring in lots of other ways. They are empathetic enough to know that we don’t talk about ‘Gertrude’ at Uni unless I bring it up, but show they care all the same without being overly sympathetic as I pointed out in this post.
I have a few older school or church youth group friends from my teenage years like ‘the MRD’, R and K who let me know they are thinking of me and holding me close to their hearts. (And this is 30 years since we were in high school)
I know everyday people love me, which for half my life I believed that not that many people would, if I let them see the real me. This blog has allowed me to show who I really am and I now know I am loved for being exactly who I am, warts and all.
Love and support has also come in the shape of the internet, other IBCers and other Breast Cancer survivors that I am friends with through the IBC mailing list, our IBC facebook group, other Breast Cancer bloggers, Facebook and twitter users. Through all these avenues we become real friends as close as any real life support group as we share such intense shared experiences.
As Shelli of “The Dirty Pink Underbelly” blog wrote as a comment on ‘Feeling the Fear’ on “Get Out Gertrude” “:-“I wonder if it brings me permanently down, further and further down, as my search for support has turned to seeing friends die. ” We run the risk, especially amongst those of us that are metastatic, of seeing these friends die.
But as Judy of “Just Enjoy Him” wrote, when I crossposted the same post to “Mothers with Cancer” , about the loss of Sarah to our community:- “I am so very sad about Sarah’s death. Just so so sad. But I’m glad she was in my (online) life for the time that she was”.
I totally agree with Judy. I would rather have these women in my life for a short time than not at all. Having IBC and/or metastatic cancer can be a lonely experience, even if you are surrounded by friends that love you, because of the enormity of your situation, and that these other women understand.
Because of this love and support I have decided to become a little less anonymous. As you can see above I used my real name, I am partially doing this as in a month or so I will be posting links to a video interview I did on having IBC, where you will get to see the ‘real me’ . I will still use abbreviations or pseudonyms for everyone else as I am still very aware that this is my story not theirs.
I have just realised this is exactly the same outfit that I wore for my video LOL – it is one of my favourites