On the Outside

Cancer is an odd place to be. I find that I am in a sort of limbo land. All around me life goes on - as it should. But that just makes me feel very isolated & lonely. Everyone is enjoying life, laughing, doing things, experiencing things that I took for granted at one stage too. They are all getting on with their lives and thus moving on. I feel isolated like I am on the outside, looking in.

Whereas I am caught up in a grey world of fog, an island of pain and 4 hour cycles of pain meds. I don’t even have the energy to do some light crafts or read a book most of the time. If I was lucky there might be something on television that would be absorbing enough to fill in the time between my frequent naps.

The Silence of Loneliness by Winterregen

Oddly enough when the rare visitor came, I was able to come out of my cocoon and interact and we both enjoyed the time together. It is sort of sad that some people whom I had thought would be ‘there’ for me are not. It is also amazing to see the support I am getting from others, some whom I hardly knew before all this came to light. The visits are a welcome break in my days of grey nothingness.

It is also noticeable that no-one has actually offered any practical help. I get the rare ‘call me if you need me.’ But these are from people who hardly know me. It doesn’t seem right to impose on them. Many will say I will pray for you and you know it is genuine for some, and a real blessing especially from those that I know are prayer warriors or live too far to be of any practical assistance and yet I wonder at others. It is so easy to say some words. No one has actually said, I will come and vacuum for you or do the shopping for you. There are many things I am not allowed to do as far as housework goes and anyway I just don’t have the energy to do much at all. If I pace myself,. I can start dinner preparation in the morning and actually have it ready by dinner time. Some days I can’t even do that. My husband can do a limited amount of cooking, he does a mean steak and a fabulous baked dinner, however I am thankful we can afford to buy frozen dinners from Woolies.

Yet oddly at this stage through all this fog, it is not one of depression, nor is not a time of despair, it is more like a time of waiting, of being patient, of letting my body dictate my days. Sure sometimes I wonder if I am being lazy and there are the odd times when I am energetic enough to do something whether it be to catch up on some light housework, cook some dinners to pop in the freezer or find some other way to make things a tad easier on my husband for a bit. Sometimes we’d go for a drive whether it be to visit a friend or do some shopping. These little burst of energy had to be tempered as inevitably I would pay for it later and be totally exhausted for a greater period of time than the outing required.

Oh the joys of these precious gems that came once in a while were also to be treasured and revisited in my mind during the times when I stayed home in my little grey world. Other than being concerned and careful regarding my health, I had to be careful not to be selfish. My husband has to carry a lot of this too. He has a wife who can be very testy, who doesn’t want to share some of the pleasures we shared together as a husband and wife, who doesn’t want or is able to share in a social life with friends and family. He suffers too!

I guess there is a realisation that life will never be the same even when I’ve licked this cancer. Our experiences will change the way we see things and people. I have no idea this early in the game just what or who the causalities will be. It does mean that our priorities have changed, our outlook has changed and all this means we have changed, hopefully for the better. But change is inevitable.

Though the road might not be the one I would have chosen, I know that I am where I am meant to be. I might not know his plans for my life, but I know that God will give me the grace, help and assistance as I need it. There are times when I can not 'feel' God, but I know that he is faithful. I am so grateful that I have been a Christian now for some 30 years and have a history with Him. I can look back in my life and know that through other difficult times when I 'couldn't feel his presence', I can look back and see that He had been there all the time. I am relying on His promise that He will be there for me, even to the point of carrying me when I can no longer walk the road under my own steam. Now that is reassuring, knowing that no matter what, my future lies with him.