It’s funny to me that when someone gets cancer, they’re an instant, “hero”. We are far from heroes, and I’ve known some real assholes that get cancer that continue to treat everyone around them like shit and don’t own any of their own. None of us are perfect, and I’ve given a lot of apologies throughout this. A diagnoses like this certainly puts a magnifying glass on someone’s personality. It’s entirely possible that I might not make it. But I’m not going to accept that just yet. And while this may change me, it will not beat me.
I’m glad that I’ve always tried my very best been kind to people and stay humble, because the overwhelming amount of support during this bullshit time has been incredible and unexpected. This relapse is so hard because it wasn’t in my head that it was going to come back, and the hardest thing that I could think of doing is sharing it with the people who helped me fight so hard before… For what? For this to keep coming back? How long will I put my family, friends and colleagues through this? I didn’t even think about myself in that moment. I was alone when I received the news of relapse, and immediately called Justin to come be with me so that I could hear correctly what they were saying. I was weeping so hard when I called him on his work phone that he didn’t know who it was. I was hysterical.
When you put out kindness and understanding, and all of your “pathies” (Sympathy, Empathy, Even apathy) in a place where you have the best intentions in your heart, you have to be fine and at peace when sometimes things are completely out of your control. You don’t need expectations on others when something like this happens. Because having the ability to help and give right now and how good it feels with NO EXPECTATION is enough of a gift itself. The true heroes are you, every day, trying your best.
Nora and Phil have a wonderful saying that allowed me to be better as an independent woman who has difficulty taking help from others, “when you say no to people that are trying to help you, you’re denying them the same great feeling that you feel when you step up to the plate for others.”
All I need right now is your good energy, prayers or a good long talk to the God of your understanding about your friend Heather. Help someone with their groceries or buy a coffee for the person behind you in line, give up your seat on the train, smile at a stranger, hug your loved ones… and send the good energy to me. Pay your good feelings forward. This fight will not be easy, but I’m still up for the fight. I’m worth it. I’m not done here. And that’s I’ll I could want from you while we figure the rest out… Kindness to others. I also seem to need a lot of sleep.
Send me familiar faces of you, friends and family for my walls here. If you insist on sending something, gift certificate for whole foods, Walgreens, sprouts or Trader Joes so that I can send my caregivers on small errands and I don’t have any cash here. I do have Venmo! But my parents don’t. Hehe. Old people.
Heather Snow, C/o Presbyterian St. Lukes, Oncology,1721 E 19th Ave, Denver, CO 80218
Love you all,