If you know me, and know me well, you know that I am somewhat deficient in social graces. Oh sure, I can put on a mask and turn in an Oscar winning performance, but deep down the real me is the most extreme introvert you will ever meet. Really! Because of this, it has been overwhelming to read the comments of love and caring on my Facebook update about my colon cancer diagnosis. I don’t know what I expected, other than to make sure that should something happen, family/friends couldn’t say “why didn’t we know?”. I didn’t want Mikael to be in the same position that I was in last year when Pauline (my sister) died, and I had to inform her friends. In Pauline’s situation there was no time for a warning shot across the bow, no time to let people know she was in hospital never mind in a critical condition. It happened too fast. In my case, I had a choice to keep it hidden, or to come clean and let people know what was going on. I chose to learn from Pauline’s situation and tell all.
What I didn’t expect was the amount of love and caring support that I have experienced from family and friends around the world. I am so blessed to have such a large support group and if positive energy alone was enough to heal me, I would be the healthiest person on the planet right now. Seriously. As it is, I must be one of the world’s luckiest people to have such friendship. You have no idea how many times I would read a message over that week, and emotional tears would fall onto my keyboard.
As I said, I’m an introvert, I’m not a social animal at all, but as I read the messages on FB I was aware of the different groups of friends who have touched my life, most of you going back 18 years or more (pre-dating FB!). Family (blood and otherwise) who are always with me in spirit, friends I made working at the University in the UK (which feels like forever ago!), the MAJIC girls who were all trying to be first-time mommas at the same time back in 1999, the Momwriters with whom I shared Jake’s traumatic birth story in 2000, and the friends I have made here on Facebook through the various interests I have. It occurs to me that these were all social networks when social networking wasn’t a part of our everyday dialogue. It occurs to me that perhaps I’m not as insular as I had thought. It also occurs to me that as Sally Fields said “You like me!” I didn’t know that. I thank you for your friendship and your support throughout the various stages of my life, and especially now as I face this challenge. I no longer feel so alone, and I thank each of you for your continued friendship. I have no words to tell you how much that means to me, so from the bottom of this introvert’s heart I will just say a belated, but simple, THANK YOU.