If you know me personally, you know that I don't really slow down. I push through and get things done that I want and/or need to get done. You also know that it is really no good to try and tell me to do something differently, slow down, or change my plans. When I have my mind set on something, I am going to do it.
I think that sometimes, because I don't look sick, people forget that I have cancer. Or maybe forget is a poor choice of words. I think it is easier for people to compartmentalize it and see me as healthy. It is easier for me to forget that I need to take time to myself. When I had a nephrostomy tube coming from my back you can be sure I never "forgot" I had cancer. It is easier to put the cancer aside when I look healthy. I don't want to see myself as sick. I don't want to be sick. I want to go back to my life as if it is all normal. It is not normal. It will never be normal again.
I have been debating writing about this for a while. I don't want to change the way people look at me. I don't want you to question if you should invite me out. I don't want you to stop yourself from asking for my help with something. I don't want you to see my differently. I don't want to be different. I don't want you to handle me like I am fragile and going to break. I don't want you to feel like you need to take care of me.
So, you might be wondering, what do I need? I just need you to be there. I need you to understand that if I can't do something, it isn't you personally. I need you to include me in things, even if I end up not being able to make it. I need you to understand, sometimes I just have to go home and rest. I need you to trust that I will work to not overcommit myself and I will tell you when I just am not up to doing something. I need you to help me make the world a fabulous place for my son, who has to see the worst parts of cancer. Most of all, sometimes I just need a minute to breathe.