Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Doing it for the Sympathy or Empathy?

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Yesterday I remembered when in grade three braking my arm riding to fast on my brother Jason's black and yellow BMX bike. I was too small for it. My brother Dion wrote on my cast "Did you do this for the empathy or sympathy?" 

Ever wonder if you're the only one going through _________? I was yesterday feeling out of sorts in a way - I wanted sympathy or empathy. I have been open and rejected the idea of support groups. What I have learned from those that have or are going through cancer is that a similarity has been our reaction and others reactions upon learning of the diagnosis. But since my cervix isn't been removed; a mastectomy isn't required; and chemotherapy or surgery aren't on the agenda it seems others journey's are on another planet. Plus, it feels like out of the cancer options I was lucky overall. Nonetheless I wanted to see if there were others in Victoria with plasmacytoma so I Googled "plasmacytoma support groups, victoria, bc". 
The first link had nothing to do with plasmacytoma. The second and third were support groups for women (maybe ones I dated?). Which brings us to the forth and fifth ...ME! So it seemed like my support group is a mirror.

It got me thinking of what real support is. Nothing wrong with strangers being acquainted over cancer, but for me I think it might be just too time consuming and depressing (maybe). However yesterday my mother called before bed to say "Hey, how are you? Talk to me." My dad dropped by with some produce. My niece Montana is visiting and helping around the home, made me grilled cheese sandwiches. Myrtle, well she is an angel with a radiant smile and a goofiness that lifts my spirits beyond words.

I also considered what came in the mail yesterday.  I saw on the customs slip that inside was a "blanket" and "pens".  Pens? The blanket part I understood, the sender was from Sandy, Oregon, my Aunt Lyn,  a world renowned quilter (well in my world she is). Why she would send pens though was a head scratcher, "Well... she is getting older... but she not THAT old, is she?" I thought.

Nope, she's not. The quilt has patches for family and friends to write on, the "pens" are a bunch of permanent markers. Some of my American family had already signed some patches. A quilt wasn't a surprise per se, but being able to have people sign it was! Once more a quilt made me cry.

Over the weekend I had some side effects that were to be expected, just not welcomed. There was no radiation on Monday and today's was at 8:00am. In short I was anxious and had a hard time falling asleep. Open the window. Shut the window. Lie on my tummy. Lie on my side. What time is it? 12:40am! Okay no more looking at the clock. Lie on my back. Do I have to pee? I've been here more then an hour, I better go now. Have the window opened just a crack. I'm thirsty. 

On the way back from the glass of water I saw the quilt I've dubbed my "Sympathy or Empathy" quilt. I grabbed it and brought it to bed and thought of what was written by some of my support group. That I was loved and I could do this. It calmed my troubled nerves and I had a great sleep. Thank you Aunt Lyn!

When I received the quilt I wrote her this:

Dear Aunt Lyn,

Any Guesses what is keeping me warm as I type? I know it might take me a few days to think of something better than THANK YOU! All I can say is I look forward to when Myrtle can enjoy the quilt and comprehend the love you and the family shared with her daddy. 

Thank you and THANK YOU!

Lots and lots and lots of love,


Please if you are ever by and you want to sign it, please do, I could the use the sympathy or empathy. 

Myrtle showed she approved of the quilt in her own way. Montana encouraged her no doubt. 

In Myrtle's room.

1 comment:

  1. What a nice quilt! So many sweet comments. We love you!