Walking well with someone who is fighting long-term or terminal illness is not easy. My friend Andrea offers one example of how to do it well.
WHO IS THIS WOMAN?
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may have caught a couple “shout outs” to Andrea. When it was time to get a tattoo there were thoughts of getting them together. She is a “fan” of the chemo man purse and somehow sees it as a fashion statement. So, who is this woman?
Andrea and I met when she was in Jr. high. She was a member of the youth group at Maplewood Baptist Church. Andrea was full of energy and we had a great relationship.
At one point she kept telling me about this great Christian Slater movie, Kuffs. I just had to see it. One Saturday she took Nancy and myself to the movies to see it. As the movie opens Slater’s character and his girlfriend dance around their apartment clad only in their underwear. Andrea sat frozen in her seat, head down, eyes up, beat red. She muttered, “Forgot about this part.” We laugh about it to this day. (Okay, I laugh about it.)
I had the honor of performing Andrea’s wedding. It was a special day. As the years roll on our families stay connected.
QUALITY VS QUANTITY
One of the most fascinating things about this cancer journey has been conversations with my oncologist about quality vs quantity of life. Prior to meeting Dr. Saroha, I would have said, “I will take both thank you very much.” There was never any reason to think in such heavy or deep ways. The goal was to have it all, quality and quantity.
From the beginning of my treatment Dr. Saroha has been clear there will be seasons where we will choose quantity on life. In those moments it will be up to me to fight through side effects and labor through whatever treatment is appropriate. At other times we will decide that it is time for a break from all the treatments, time for my body to recover, and heal. Time for my quality of life to improve.
Those have never been easy conversations, but they have become part of my “new normal.” Nancy and I find it much easier to slip into the quality vs quantity conversation than we first did. [Read more…]