While visiting a friend during her inpatient chemo, I was reminded of the old saying “put on your big girl panties and deal with it”. (Only, I changed it to sassy pants because my friend’s last name is Sass and she has a blog titled, “Sassy Pants”) I was not able to get to the hospital and visit during her previous chemo and I missed her and I thought it would be good for her because when we are together we always laugh. Quite frankly, in my mind, I was doing what a friend should do. I was going to give of myself and so, off I go to visit and spread laughter and cheer. (yeah, you know the verse “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought” [Romans 12:3]? I was about to learn a lesson that day!)
Now, I must tell you that my friend is one of the strongest, most uplifting and inspiring people I have met. When I am around her she gives me so much inspiration to just do better, be better and live better. Even during chemo treatments, she has done hiking, running, canoeing…yeah, stuff I can’t even manage do to on a normal, regular day. The conversation turns to what I have been up to during the summer. I tell her how busy I have been and how I got away from my healthier eating, smoothie drinking and exercise. From her hospital bed, hooked to poisonous medicines, she begins to remind me in a loving way of all the studies that show the connection between increased weight and breast cancer recurrence. And, she reminds me, she doesn’t have the luxury of the benefit of those studies with her type of cancer. She encourages me on ways to get back in the routine of exercise and ideas on how to bring some accountability for myself. We talk about juicing vs. blending, what we like to put in our smoothies and which blenders we liked the best. At the end of it all the conclusion was that the summer was in the past. I got out of a routine and so what…deal with it. Move on and move forward.
Aren’t we like this so many times in life? Things happen to us and we want to sit and have a pity party? Yes, sometimes bad things happen. We get bad news, lose a job, lose a friend, eat too much, forget to exercise, get too busy or get a diagnosis. Although we can’t change what has already happened, we can chose how to deal with it in the present. As much as we want it to, a cancer diagnosis won’t just go away. It’s there. Done. It is what it is.
And, so it was. Just when I thought I was going to help my friend, she ended up helping me. I walked out of the hospital that day having learned a lesson…sometimes God places people in our lives not for us to help but for them to help us. Oh, and also…
Put on your sassy pants and deal with it!