Amy is a minister’s wife and up until she received her cancer diagnosis, was a Mary Kay director. Because of her ‘people’ personality, she has many friends who know and love her. She has always been easily accessible by phone and has always welcomed people into her home.
However, when she received her cancer diagnosis, I witnessed a change in her accessibility which I initially respected, but have come to admire. Amy decided that she could not repeatedly talk to everyone who called about her cancer. She could not welcome every guest who wanted to drop by to express their concern. She knew that her number one priority was to beat cancer and conserving her physical and emotional strength is a necessary part of her recovery.
Therefore she seldom answers the phone or doorbell. She answers emails when she feels like it, and she keeps a journal on caringbridge.com. If a church member wanted to support Amy and Brent with food, they coordinated it with one person rather that just dropping it by the house.
Let me be clear here. It is not that Amy is shutting people out of her life. She does talk to people, but she does it on her own terms, i.e., when she has the strength, or when it is convenient. She keeps people up to date on how she is feeling and how her treatment is going by way of journal entries. Amy is still just as much a people person as before, and she totally appreciates all the cards, emails, comments left on Caringbridge, and so many other ways support and love is shown to her.
I appreciate Amy setting this type of example for us. We do not have to be a ‘slave’ to the telephone and doorbell. We do not have to let it drain our emotional and physical strength. We can choose to walk down the path of cancer or serious illness at least to some extent on our own terms. We can choose to do what is best for us.
You go, Amy!