On a judgemental scale from Mother Teresa to Snookie, pre-cancer I was at about a 90’s Ricki Lake (in the middle). I am just being honest here. And I don’t think I am alone on this.
It was something that I worked on daily. And my favorite thought was that old adage of when you point one finger at someone else you are pointing three at yourself.
You know what cancer does? Completely wipes away any thoughts of judging others. For one I am too tired and emotionally spent to put energy into judging others. But the main reason is perspective.
That person who looks like they didn’t look in a mirror before they left the house? Maybe they gave all of their spare moments to their children and are just happy to be out and about with the sun shining. That overweight lady stuffing her face with a sandwich in the car next to you? Maybe she is preparing to take her baby in to get a transfusion which could be an all day event spent in a tiny little room in the hospital. That child throwing a fit in Woodman’s that you can hear across the whole store? Maybe the child has sensory issues and the parents are doing everything they can to calm her down.
So cancer has helped me not be judgemental. But you know what else it has done? Cancer has made me envious. Envious of the woman in the car next to me on her way to work. Envious of the family riding their bikes down the street in front of me. Three weeks and a day ago I had normal worries. I’m envious of old me, of my old life, pre-cancer.
But I wouldn’t trade life with this little guy for “normal” worries. If this is the only way he can be in my life, I will take it. I love him more than I could ever imagine. With every fiber of my being. So when you say I am being strong, I have an out of body experience as if you are talking about someone else. I have no choice. I will fight. I will do everything I can for this magical, sweet, wondrous little boy.
Oh, and one more thing cancer has done to me? That terrible bastard cancer has made me say “I love you” more. Yep. I say it. To my friends, to my in-laws. And not in that cutesy college girl way of “love ya” to your friends as you walk out the door. I look people in the eye and tell them I love them and hope that my words and my eyes can convey how much I appreciate their love and support. I think I might have freaked out one of my friends with this direct eye contact and “I love you”, but I think she got over it. And I hug. And touch my friends’ shoulders, give high-fives. Maybe not as much during Wes’ immune-compromised days, but yeah, classify me as a hugger now.