They say misery loves company. And admittedly, there are times, when you’re going through something difficult, that it is a relief to come across someone who is sharing that same struggle.
There is a special relief that comes when you engage in that quiet conversation in the corner about something difficult, scary or private. That conversation you have where you admit out loud for the first time that you have to do something to take care of the hair that grows on your upper lip (if you have Eastern European roots like me, anyway.) The moment you blurt out that you’ve considered putting your child up for sale on EBay. The time you confess that you Facebook stalk the girl your high school boyfriend dumped you for. And mentally high five yourself because you are WAY BETTER by Facebook standards, anyway – more friends, more likes, cuter kids. Take that, former cheerleader! (Also, we will ALL agree to ignore the fact that she is still skinny and is a nuclear physicist.)
This doesn’t apply just to embarrassing things. For example, I love finding someone my age who manages a team in their job like I do. And fellow curly haired ladies. And U2 fanatics. And even harder things. If you get fired and you come across someone else – someone talented and smart and cool – who has been fired, it’s like a healing balm.
I once worked, briefly, for a really difficult boss. My fellow coworkers – we would all convene at happy hour to share our latest woes.
So. You find that person who knows exactly what you’re dealing with. It’s so gloriously freeing to share something. But I have to say, whenever I hear about someone else getting cancer, my heart just breaks a little bit.
A young woman I know, Katy, is embarking on her cancer journey today. Chemo, day 1. She is a strong, health-focused woman. A wife, a mom, a fitness coach, a business owner. And she’s young. Cancer has no business being in her body.
But cancer does not pay attention to our ideas of who seems immune. It settles in where it wants to.
So, while I wish to God it wasn’t cancer, I’m grateful to have something in common with this tough young lady. To get to know her. Because she’s really awesome. And I’m grateful to be able to pass along a little of the kind of love and support my friend, Laura, gave out so generously. Laura couldn’t talk very much toward the end, but I know if she’d had time and words to share, she would have told me to be positive, to not be afraid, and to encourage others along the way on this strange, difficult, frustrating, painful, ugly, challenging, beautiful, inspiring, edifying, messy, sad, happy, terrible, amazing journey.
Please pray for Katy when you pray for me.
We’re working really hard to make cancer our bitch. But God’s the one who can do ALL things. To Him be the glory.