People Need People

29 Aug

The weekend was a pretty good one. Right now, my biggest complaints (and I hate to use that word because they seem so minor when compared to what some are dealing with) are the annoying stent and the inability to eat much. The stent is driving me insane. My dad would probably point out here that it’s a short trip for me!  ha ha!  Not sure if it’s moved or what, but walking and standing are pretty uncomfortable lately. As far as eating goes, I can eat basic foods, but if I eat too much of anything, it just tortures my tummy. So, I’m sticking to a plain diet and just eating tiny amounts at a time. My weight is maintaining, though, so even though my eating is not what I would like for it to be, I’m at least not losing pounds. My favorite right now is Carnation Instant Breakfast chocolate milk. It’s giving me some nutrition and it tastes good!

I’ve been thinking about this idea lately:  People Need People (isn’t that a Barbara Streisand song??).  Or more precisely, I’ve been thinking about how Rachel Needs People, which feels a little odd to me.

Rachel doesn’t like to need people or assistance with things, at least she’s not used to needing people.  She likes to think that she’s pretty independent and self-sufficient, but having cancer has turned those ideas and beliefs inside out and forced her to re-examine her need for others.

Ok, I’m done talking about myself in the 3rd person.  That takes entirely too much effort!  :)

Having cancer and sharing that news with everyone placed me in the unfamiliar spot of accepting attention and help from others.  I would much rather be the caregiver than the one receiving care.  I would rather be the one baking a cake than the one receiving a meal from a friend.  I’d rather fluff a pillow than have my pillow fluffed!

Relying on others makes you vulnerable, and vulnerable is not something I like to feel.  Can anyone else relate??  No need to raise your hand.  I know who you are.  ha ha!

Barry will be the first to tell you I have a pretty strong independent streak in me.  I don’t do this as often as I used to, but there have been plenty of times in our marriage when I would remind him that I had taken care of myself for 10-12 years before we met and that I was perfectly capable of doing things for myself!  He usually rolls his eyes and says, “I know, I know.”

Now, this is where my family is probably laughing, because they know the whole truth.  Sure, I lived on my own and paid my own bills.  But as far as “taking care of myself,” with complete independence?  Well, that might be a little tiny bit of a stretch.  My mom, dad and sisters made sure there really wasn’t much that I actually had to do all by myself.  I am the baby of the family after all.  :)

Even still, I like to think that I am capable of handling things on my own.  I wonder if any of you are wired that way, too?  We like to feel strong and capable of doing it all on our own.  Needing help feels like weakness, or even failure.

But it’s not weakness or failure.  It’s natural and normal, and needing and accepting love and help from others actually allows them to “bear one another’s burdens” and “serve one another in love” as the Bible says in Galatians.  

For me, it’s a pride issue.  I’ve always been proud of my ability to do for myself without having to rely on others.  And now God is using cancer to yank the pride rug out from under me.  He has made it abundantly clear that there is absolutely NO way I could cope or handle the process of being treated for lymphoma on my own.

And you know the truth?  I don’t really want to do this alone.  I would be scared silly if I were facing this without my husband, family, friends, and most importantly, my God, walking this road with me.  Were it not for Barry, quite literally, by my side through each step, I would be a mess.  And I am 100% certain there is no way my prayers alone would be enough to sustain me throughout this process.  I need every single one of your prayers, too.

The upside to this little attitude adjustment: getting to experience some of the greatest blessings of my life.  I guess this is just one of the “blessings in disguise” that cancer has already given me.  Admitting that I need others was a tough pill to swallow, but the benefits have been tremendous.  Your prayers, emails, calls, texts, cards, blankets, gifts, and meals have meant so much to me.  I am humbled to know that so many people care about me and are concerned about what I’m going through.

So here’s a question for you.  Why do you think it is so hard for us to accept help from others?  Leave a comment and let me know if you find it easy or hard to accept help from others.

Have a great Monday!

4 Responses to “People Need People”

  1. Kathy August 29, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    In answer to your question…It stands to reason that a giving spirit like yours would not be comfortable being on the receiving end of things for the same reason a person isn’t comfortable using their opposite hand primarily for everyday functions. It’s not that it can’t be done, it just takes getting used to.

    You and I both have been way out of our comfort zone lately. Like you I have been blessed with an outpouring of unbelievable support the likes of which I was completely overwhelmed by and will never forget. Like you said, a “Blessing in Disquise”.

    I Love You, Kathy

    • rachturner September 2, 2011 at 8:05 am #

      “…for the same reason a person isn’t comfortable using their opposite hand primarily for everyday functions.” That makes so much sense and is completely something Dad would say. Wow. Very profound.

      We never ever would have chosen these paths for ourselves, but we have both been tremendously blessed through these experiences. Love you!!

  2. Jennifer cooper September 1, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    I can completely relate. Accepting help means I am not perfect and can’t do it all. That’s probably why my to do list is so long! It is humbling though when you realize you can’t. Soberring words Rach!

    • rachturner September 2, 2011 at 8:02 am #

      That’s exactly it, Jennifer – it means accepting we’re not perfect. But how can that be??? I thought we were! ha ha

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