The Waiting

Our family is in that difficult time that all cancer patients and their loved ones get to experience–the waiting. We are grateful that at least Dan is feeling good right now. But, the waiting is hard.

As a cancer patient or loved one, you spend a lot of time waiting. It starts when you suspect something is wrong and you have to wait to get into the doctor. Then you wait for test results, (and there are a lot of test results). You have to wait for an appointment to see a specialist, such as a surgeon or an oncologist. You wait for more tests. You wait for the final diagnosis. Then you wait for the staging. You wait for your insurance to okay the proposed treatment. You wait to tell your friends and family until it’s “the right time.” You wait in waiting rooms, week after week, with other waiters. You wait to see if you’ll be accepted into a trial. You wait for scan results to see if the treatment is working. When it isn’t, you wait to find out what the next step is. It’s a cycle of waiting. When all options run out, you wait for hospice. Then you wait for the end.

We have one more option. We’ve put off beginning the new treatment until we can have one more family trip. We’ll be going to the North Shore, something we haven’t done together before. We know it could be our last.

Until treatment begins, Dan is focusing on tying up loose ends that have been put off until now. It’s hard for all any of us to feel very enthusiastic about anything. There’s a constant sick feeling in the pit of your stomach.

What will life be like once treatment begins again? How will the cancer manifest itself this time?

We also ponder our blessings. There have been so many. We have gotten the very best medical care in the world. We have no doubt of that. We’re blessed with family and friends that have been there for us. We love one another well. We’ve made so many memories.

It was this memory making that prompted me to begin an initiative called Memory Makers. It’s something that I believe can bless everyone, regardless of age, health, or circumstance. Go to the Memory Makers page and read why it’s so important to share your stories with your loved ones. Download the 200+ Memory Makers and take the Memory Makers challenge.

The challenge has 3 parts:

1. Share this link  with someone you know who could benefit from the great content I share on my site and in my emails (You can copy/paste it). They will automatically get the Memory Makers when they use that link to sign up for this free email newsletter.

2. Choose about 10 of the Memory Maker prompts and ask them of someone in your family or a close friend.

3. Choose about 10 of the Memory Maker Prompts and share YOUR stories with someone in your family. It could be one of your children or a niece or nephew, even a sibling–anyone who should know a little more about who you are and what made you who you are.

You can do this through writing, video, skype, telephone, or sitting around the dinner table. These sharing challenges are best done when the person hearing the memories can ask questions. The dinner table is the perfect place for these.

I just know that this will be a blessing to you and your loved ones. I can’t wait to hear how it goes.

Heather Erickson’s book, Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone who has Cancer, is available on as a paperback or Kindle.