Last evening, after work, my friend Michelle stopped by so we could catch up. Michelle is someone I have become friends with through some common volunteerism, and as it turns out, we know a slew of people in common. (Life is funny that way)
Michelle is one of those people who inspires me. She will be reading this right now and resisting the urge to beat me senseless because she is not about self-promotion in the least, but I think she deserves a shout out.
Michelle has MS. Multiple Sclerosis. She has had it since fall of 2009 if memory serves. If you know her and see her, all you see is a beautiful and vibrant woman. To those of us lucky enough to be her friends we see, in addition, an inspirational woman who is just kind and good. And someone who is as funny as hell with a total sense of fun and a delicious sense of humor. As an aside, she writes a blog you can find HERE.
She’s not a saint, and neither am I by any stretch of the imagination, but she does inspire me. I think breast cancer as a concept is scary enough some days, but truthfully? I can’t imagine MS and having to stick yourself with needles every day. Yuck. (but she does it and brava girl, brava)
Michelle and I hadn’t caught up really in meaningful way since I got diagnosed, so we settled in for a good chat.
We spoke about life, our guys, our diseases and well how we feel about certain aspects of the disease and interacting with others. As in especially others who don’t have what we have – and there was a lot of crossover even though our conditions are vastly different. That was really interesting.
Michelle gets where I am coming from completely and boy did I grin when she said it irks her when people say “I understand how you feel” when referring to her disease or trying to make her disease about them. You see, it’s not all about being a queen bee , but as I have personally learned from my own breast cancer, unless you are in it, you really don’t get all of it – it is very complex on how it can make you feel and react. Seeing something and living something are two very different things.
We also spoke about support groups and I am beginning to feel that sometimes these support groups are indeed supporting the negativity and fears of people coping with various diseases and conditions, versus buoying people up and helping them work through the dark and negativity to try to get all to a better place. But then again, in all fairness, it depends on the composition of the group and if you don’t like the one you are in and you NEED that support, either be honest with the group members and how they make you feel or find another one. Some people, support group or no support group, just bond over negativity. Oh wow, did I say that? Sorry, not trying to be rude, it’s just what I have observed on occasion.
Also much like myself, Michelle has a hard time leaning on people and letting them take care of her – yes I really am like that which is why my Radiation Team may occasionally have to sit me down and tell me to relax over the next seven weeks. When you are of an independent spirit, sometimes well…we are just a bit stubborn. It’s not that we don’t love you, we don’t want to be a burden as much as anything else.
So Michelle, this post is for you. Thank you for being my friend and inspiring me. You look fabulous! Hugs.