Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Joys of Cancer

#3 Asking for Help

I’ve been on my own for a long time. And I guess I’ve arranged my life and my home in such a way that I very rarely had to ask for help. Oh, there will always be the occasional situation that requires assistance -- especially when you’re a scant 5’ tall -- but asking for help was never something that came easily to me. I found it easier to clean my own gutters than to ask someone to do it for me, although with my tiny wingspan, it was a whole lot more upping and downing than cleaning. I was the kind of person who would exhaust all options first, including exhausting myself.

Now, having endured the excruciating, literally bone-crunching pain, of a compression fracture, it is something I am most eager to avoid repeating. I need a lot of help now, and that’s only going to increase, at least through my transplant and recovery. Previously simple tasks like moving my sewing machine or mixer are all out of the question. Even changing the bedsheets is at the outer limit of my strength and mobility range.

Asking for help is humbling; that’s always a good lesson for me. And it’s a stark reminder that I’m a member of a very interconnected species. My peeps have evolved into couples, families, neighborhoods, communities. We have created networks for education, religion, business, for every kind of interaction.

I am not a lone wolf. I can ask for help. I am a thread in the social fabric, a patch in the communal crazy quilt.


Karen said...

Hi! I left a comment earlier, but I am not sure if it went through. (I'm on a dex crash right now, and my brain doesn't really work) Anyway, I LOVE your blog, and I have posted a link to it on my blog. :)

Cancer Girl

La Cootina said...

Thanks CG! I will reciprocate; your blog is a hoot, and I wish you the very best with your MM.

Meeta Banerjee said...

I totally understand you...being 5'2 and wanting to be totally independent its hard for me to ask for help as well.

most of my friends know that if something needs to be done, I won't ask for help on it...but if they just show up and start doing, I won't object :)

Yeahhh I'm a difficult one I am.

La Cootina said...

Oh, I understand, Superchai! And you have some super friends.

I think I've learned that when I ask for help, I give folks the opportunity to say "Yes, I will help." And that's important to most people -- sometimes it's more fulfilling than the actual help. Knowing that makes it less difficult for me to ask for help.