Once word got out that I had cancer, there was such an outpouring of love, support, and well wishes that I just have to share. At first only family and close friends knew of my diagnosis, but as word gradually spread I experienced a tidal wave of well wishes.
I already shared with you a picture of the bracelet that my family gave me, but they also gave me a “Hug” card that still put a huge smile on my face even now as I photographed it. The back cover reads “repeat as needed”. Ok, sounds like good advice to me. 🙂
I received a puzzle book, a recipe book, a cute lady bug, amaryllis plant, and a stuffed tiger that’s a good companion to my little “kinney”, another plush that looks like my beloved late pet cat. My purse sports a bead charm from my mom with all of the various colours used to represent different cancers.
My youngest sister always jokes about getting or giving a pony if someone is down in the dumps, so she brought me a pony. She also brought my husband a moose just so he wouldn’t feel left out.
My twin sister brought lucky bamboo for me, I guess it worked! Homemade soups, while I could still eat, also were gratefully accepted.
A friend from work sent an activity package: a variety puzzle magazine, a DVD set of the show “Here come the midwives”, and a teapot picture puzzle. Perfect for me!
Fresh flowers arrived on a regular basis, from friends, coworkers, and the executives of my employer. My family also sent an absolutely gorgeous arrangement of flowers but we got a good chuckle when the sender forgot to include her own name on one of the cards (right Little Sis?).
Collections were gathered at work and I was surprised on more than one occasion to receive a card in the mail with a more than generous cheque to help cover some of my costs. I used part of the money to purchase a beautiful “Chicago Peace” rose for my backyard as a constant reminder of their generosity.
Friends I knew well and some acquaintances I didn’t know that well at all came out of the blue with offers for meal prep, cat sitting, accommodations in Toronto, etc. It’s truly been an outpouring of wonderful support.
People also expressed their love and support through emails, of which some were from the most surprising of sources: people that I barely knew had words of encouragement and support based on their own battles. Here’s a few snippets:
“my sweet heart I am truly sorry for what you are going through, I know in my heart you will beat this. You are such a strong, beautiful, loving and caring women, you are truly an inspiration to me and I look up to you with the upmost respect. I dont know anyone that doesn’t adore you, not seeing you here is just not the same.”
“I just wanted to send you a warm hug on this cold day to let you know I’m thinking
of you and sending positive, healing thoughts your way.”
“I know from personal experience most of what you are experiencing. When I had my cancer I too had an outpouring of love and support from people close to me and people not close to me. Its an amazing feeling and it really keeps you strong and grateful.”
“Word has slowly gotten around the building and there are some pretty solemn faces.
You are well liked, loved and very respected, so everyone is behind you and sorry and sad
for what you will be going through! Rest assured we are all waiting for your return.
They all send their best wishes.”
Here’s a tongue-in-cheek email from my boss:
“Glad to hear that things are progressing well and you do seem to be in good spirits (although I wouldn’t expect otherwise). Remember that we have a lot of shit to do,
so hurry up and get better.”
And this last one:
There’s a story behind “egg roll”. I’ll definitely save that for another time.
The best gift is my own family, who phoned, who helped out, who cheered me on, and who gave my husband-turned-full-time-caregiver much needed breaks.
Next: a typical day