Thursday, June 02, 2011

When is it Enough?

by Cheri Chesley

As many of you know, I'm spending the summer promoting and selling my books and ebooks as much as I can to help a sweet friend with cancer. You can read about my efforts and find links to my books HERE. Also, Rebecca posted her gratitude in a comment--and it's nice to hear from her. She started chemotherapy last week, but as of now it doesn't look like she'll have to go through radiation. (little cheer here)

On Sundays, since she was diagnosed, I've stopped by her house to pick up her kids for church. Remember, it's been a roller coaster ride for her family since her diagnosis--surgery, dr visits, chemo. Sunday afternoon, my daughter came to me and said how Becky's daughter had rested her head on my daughter's shoulder through most of Primary and cried. She's afraid. Afraid for her mom. Afraid of the changes in her life, the uncertainty. Yet as I watched her with her two younger brothers in Sacrament meeting, she was so patient with them and so kind. Before she went to class, I hugged her and told her what a great big sister she is. Maybe I set her on her path to tears, but I didn't mean to. I just wanted her to know how wonderful she is and what a blessing she is to her family.

When I get ready for bed at night, I think to myself about the things I've done so far to promote and sell my books to earn money to help them. I also fret and worry about what I didn't do--what I can do. I never feel like I'm doing enough to help. I think about how such a diagnosis would change my life--how the simple realities of day to day concerns would change in a heartbeat. Her diagnosis has already changed me; I can't accurately imagine what it's done to her.

Currently, my worries are book publishing and editing, finding a permanent place for my family to live, getting our budget issues under control, and car problems. If I found a lump tomorrow, all that would change. Maybe I have an overactive imagination (maybe? ha!), but I would consider the range of possibilities, and I'd worry about the worst case scenario. Moms do this (I think dads do, too); we consider the impact on our family, our kids, if we weren't around anymore. If I died, what would that do to my kids?

Maybe I'm too sensitive to that particular worry. My father died when I was seven years old--I know how that affected me and watched how it affected my brothers. I'm a different person than I would have been if he'd lived.

I'm not a wealthy person, and I don't have an abundance of free time. If I did, I'd be anonymously paying all Rebecca's medical expenses and making sure she had all the comforts she and her family could stand. As it is, I am trying to sell my books this summer to give them the money. And, because it's for a cause larger than myself, I want to shout it from the rooftops. I want EVERYONE to know there is a way to help this sweet, wonderful family. Even if it means I have to shatter my comfort zone to do so.

What I'm not sure is whether I'll ever feel if I've done enough to help.

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