When I posted an entry the other day about an upcoming breast biopsy, I prefaced it with a comment about possibly breaching the rules of etiquette. Some of you asked me why I thought that.
No, it wasn't because the story was about my breast. I was concerned that some people would think I should keep my "minor health worry" private because it would be inconsiderate to cause you worry when I didn't know yet whether there was a major health problem.
I think very few people would find it impolite for me to say, "I have cancer." But some people might have thought I should wait until I had the results to tell anyone about the biopsy. Maybe they would think me inconsiderate, or worse, they'd think me narcissistic.
So I really struggled with posting that entry because I do care what people think of me, and because I didn't want to cause anyone alarm. I ultimately decided to post it because the whole experience had made a mark on my heart, and I wanted to share my story with you. I figured surely there were others who were facing similar worries, or different worries, and maybe the assurance God had given me might encourage someone else.
I had no idea how much encouragement that I would receive after posting that story. The instant outpouring of love, prayers, and support were positively overwhelming. I cannot tell you how much it meant for loved ones, acquaintances, and even a handful of strangers to reach out to me with a kind word. It made me realize that I am not alone, the way I sometimes feel as one of the few single people in my immediate circle.
I realized that if I were to face cancer, or any other hardship, I would be surrounded by people who loved me and wanted to help. Some of you who live close would help me through your actions, and some of you would help me by your words and your prayers.
Sharing my concerns with you lightened the load, and sharing the good news with you this afternoon multiplied my joy.
My dear friend Ana, who lives just across the street, came by this evening to give me some flowers and a flesh-and-blood hug. To me, those flowers and that hug represent the love I received from all of you online.
I want to thank you all for letting me share my story. If you've been reading long, thank you for letting me share my struggles and my triumphs, my sorrows and my joys, my doubts and my faith.
Thank you for letting me share some pretty vulnerable moments, and for always letting me be me--even when that involves a very long-winded story. Thank you for not making me feel self-conscious about being so melodramatic (as I am being now, I suppose).
I am honored that you would walk with me through my very ordinary, extraordinary life. I love you.
P.S. What are your thoughts on talking about health issues? Is that still improper, or has social media blurred the lines of propriety? I'd love to know what you think.