Hello Friends!  Alan here.  Round 7 is on board and doing its thing.  I was unhooked from the 5FU pump Thursday at noon.  Feeling decent.  My liver feels kind of like a football (in the middle of a game).  But that’s good because I believe it means that the mets are getting pounded hard.  My liver only hurts significantly like this when I’ve got my full chemo-load on board.  So this pain has to mean that we’re carpet bombing the enemy.  I’m GOOD with that!

Chemotherapy Administration

I was thinking this morning about the question of how do you talk to someone that’s been hit with news like, “you’ve got cancer.”  Everyone immediately recognizes the difficulty and awkwardness involved.  I’ve thought about it and I think I’ve pinpointed why it’s hard to talk to our friends that are in a life-threatening circumstance.  

The reason it’s hard to talk to your friend that’s going through a hard time is because the subject matter available for comfortable discussion is RAZOR thin.  Think about it.  When we talk to one another: it’s typically either about how crappy things are or how awesome things are.  We really don’t pick up the phone to project a message of status quo.  But when you are talking to a friend that’s really in the trenches you don’t want to complain about a hard project at work or your lower back pain.  Those are both SO trumped by what your friend is going through so you feel like a heel bringing up a complaint to the guy with a tumor.  Flip side:  You just got a promotion and you’re job is going great and you feel like you’re going to be able to buy a bigger boat.  “Oh….dude….sorry.  I know that you’re going through a hard time.”  So, there’s the difficulty in speaking to friends in the trenches of tribulation:  you feel like a jerk bringing up your “issues” and you feel like a insensitive dork bring up good news that you’ve encountered.  Result:  it’ easier to just not talk to them.  Otherwise you risk the danger of chronic Ostium Pedatosis (clinical image below).

"Doc, I only open my mouth to change feet."

This weekend I had a visit from one of my best friends.  He’s not gone through any charm school and he doesn’t read Emily Post on a regular occasion.  But, he was able to balance on the razor’s edge by simply strapping on the friendship that we’ve built and shared over the years.  The hazards of stepping on conversational land mines can really be taken down to nil when you just relax and let the friendship run the conversation.  

An important point here is that the anxiety you may feel about talking to your friend who’s going through a hard time is really just that…YOUR anxiety.  Ultimately, when you call or visit your friend you may say something that, once it escapes your mouth, you’ll think “why did I say that in front of him?”  But, even if you do, it’s not a big deal and your reaching out is better than waiting for a time when conversation would be “easier”.  

Disclaimer:  I’m not fishing for attention here.  I’ve just been thinking about this human condition and wanted to share. 

The takeaway from this is easy.  We should show friendship in spite of what we think is awkward circumstances because that’s when people really need a friend.  So many of you have reached out to me and shown God’s love in the process. Thanks for helping me learn and grow through your example!

OK…It’s the week off for chemo.  I’m encouraged that the carpet bombing is doing something great.  As I recuperate from Round 7, my thoughts are on Round 8 next week, which will be the last round before my next CT Scan which will occur on December 7.  I know, Pearl Harbor Day.  It’s the only way we could fit the scan in with chemo and an upcoming appointment on December 10th at UNC.  Have a great day and thanks for your prayers!

Alan