What to say

UPDATE: I wrote this after being told that someone had started several emails to me and abandoned them because she couldn’t find the words.  I’ve received more emails from you that I had expected saying you’ve been trying to think of something profound or just not known what to say.  That seemed such a shame when it is the mere act of saying something that is most meaningful for me.  That said, I do very much like to know if you are reading and I am not shouting into the wind.

I know how hard it is to find the words.  Really, I do.

I need to write.  I write to clear my head.  I write to order the jumbled thoughts that might otherwise consume me.  Sometimes I don’t know what I am trying to say until I have started.  The mere act of writing is, for me, therapeutic.  I am living this.

I promise you – and I am not alone in this – it means a lot to me for you to just say something.  Please do not think it has to be profound.  If it just is, that is more than enough.

Can I share a few things some of you have said that have brought me to tears?  Indeed, I’m crying as I write this.

I read your blog religiously.

I love you and am always here for you.

I’ve just read your blog and am now crying so won’t call but I wanted you to know that I can’t believe what you are enduring.  You’re being very strong in an unfair situation.  If I can help with Alannah or meals, please let me.  We’re thinking of you.  There’s no expiration on the offer, any time, a week or a year from now.  I’ll borrow a twin stroller and take Alannah and H out for plays.  Whatever helps.

He was telling her yesterday he couldn’t stand the waiting and she tells me he hangs out for the next post.

As I am a praying person, I will pray for you if that’s OK.

And a few things some of you have done?

Emailed or commented here.  About anything.

Baked soft chocolate cookies.

Sent handwritten notes.  I love handwritten notes  Both to send and to receive, but I especially love sending them.

Taken Darren out for a drink at our local.  On a random night.

Cooked for Alannah.

Cooked for Darren.  I can’t stomach cooking at the moment.

Brought flowers.

Given me hugs.

Allowed me to cry.

Allowed me to talk.

Called up spontaneously and met us in a park for sunshine and play.

Put away my fruit and vege delivery without a word while I was occupied.

Called just to say you’re thinking of me.

Read my blog because you care.

Many of you have said, you are in our prayers.  I’m not a praying person, but I know it means you care and want me to be ok.  That means a lot to me.

Many of you have said, I know you are going to be ok.  We don’t know and the doctors don’t know I will be ok, but I know it means you care and want me to be ok, to still be here.  That means a lot to me.

Many of you have said, if there is anything I can do, just let me know.  I am so terribly appreciative of the open offers of help, but also so terribly overwhelmed that I don’t know what to do with them.

I’m sure I’d have said the same thing.  Surely I’d know what I want or need and I’d just let you know.  I’d have thought that too.  I now know how unfathomably hard it is to make that call – both the call that I need help and the call to ask for it.  It is hard to get past thinking you can and should do it yourself.  I am doing my best to accept help, to push past the awkwardness I feel.  I know that’s what I’d want if I were the one offering help.

If you can’t find the words, tell me you read my blog.  Tell me you wait for my next post.  Tell me you can’t stand the wait for the diagnosis.  Tell me you care.  Tell me you’re there for me.  Tell me you want me to be ok.

I promise you, it means a lot to me if you just say something.  The words don’t matter.



  1. Noble Note says:

    Now, that was hard. You said, “It is hard to get past thinking you can and should do it yourself. ” Now you have asked – just for something, a word, a thought, a metaphorical wave and a tip of the hat. Congratulations – and I mean that from my heart.
    So – here we are, all of us. I think of us as a circle around you, holding you safe. It’s a very expandable circle; it is there to keep you safe, and Alannah, and Darren, and anyone else you love and need.
    Yes – as others do, I hang out for your posts. I look each day, and several times. I get cross with myself, I say, “She must have better things to do than keep us all up to date.” But that’s wrong, because the writing is therapeutic for you, so it’s good to write. Don’t ever think you’re whistling in the wind – we wait to hear, and like you, we don’t care what you say, as long as you say it.
    We love you.
    We walk this with you.
    Our hearts ache – but we stand in awe of your strength.
    We care so much.

  2. I am not a praying person but, yes, you are in my thoughts. I wait for each post with hope and trepidation. I continue to be astounded by your strength. Do whatever you need to do, say whatever you need to say. Noone here will judge you.

  3. I couldn’t agree more re: writing what you are feeling , as this can be quite cathartic and helps to organise in your own mind what is going on . I believe this is because to make sense to a third party one’s thoughts need to be organised … also you have an exceptional ability in your writing which is wonderfully perceptive and insightful for us , but i can only imagine how valuable it is for your family and close friends .
    I have all my fingers , toes , eyes and anything else I can lay my hands on crossed for the biopsy results to be promising !! This does render working a challenge I hope you realise !! All the best to you .

  4. Lovely post. I have been away in Holland for a week and actually missed reading your blog, having limited computer access. (My parents are sending you positive vibes btw 🙂

    I have found it very hard when people said they were thinking about us a lot but that they did not know what to say so they did not say anything for fear of saying the wrong thing.

    My fingers are constantly crossed in hope things will be not as bad as you fear. (Except for when I am driving as that would be dangerous…)

  5. My beautiful couz, i read your blogs every day, sometimes twice, luke reads them, we discuss them, i wait in anticipation of what is to come and what i will read, i think of you, alannah and darren constantly but mainly you! My heart has sunk a little waiting, waiting and just more waiting of whats to come. I want to say it will be alright, your strong whatever comes you will conquer, i want to hug you, i want to cry with you, you have me in tears when you talk of missed moments with alannah. If i was near you there would be more i would do. I dont pray but if it would help i would do it constantly. But mainly i read and am silent because words just dont seem enough. My heart races for you, its racing now coz cancer or not it is just to huge to comprehend. I love your blog it is the best! i know whats going on without prying, i want, no, i need to know and i thank you for sharing! I will comment more even if words escape me you’ll know at least i am sharing this journey!
    Luv tamms xx

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