If you read that title and instantly thought of the Breakfast Club, then we should be best friends.
A few articles back, I shared with you my cancer diagnosis.
The amount of emails and texts that I received in response was enough to make anyone cry.
Thank you truly does not even begin to convey how I feel.
I have found peace in sharing my journey with others.
I have found peace in knowing authentic connections can come from chaos.
If you haven’t checked out Andy Janning’s film series called “Side Effects”, I highly recommend it.
I had watched it before my diagnosis and then again afterward to see how it “hit” differently.
And it sure did.
I initially watched that from a completely empathetic lens.
The second time around it took a personal turn.
Either way, look it up and check out that series.
It gives you a raw, unfiltered look at the member stories involving cancer.
In the first article about my diagnosis, I asked if you saw me.
I asked if you could be an empathetic person as I navigate being a member who may fall short now and then due to life and circumstance.
Today I am back to share with you the words of wisdom others have shared with me, or things that I have found out during this unexpected journey.
When I met with my Cancer team at Mayo the doctor was very frank with me.
I expected nothing less, truly.
He said, “This is a marathon. This is not a sprint. You will see people lacing up their shoes to run beside you right away. Unfortunately, as your Cancer journey continues, some will fall off and start running behind. They will get so behind that if you were to look back, they wouldn’t be able to be seen. You will wonder where they went. You won’t hear from them. They will fade away. Then you will look beside you and still see some faithful runners. They are keeping up. They are checking on you. They are making sure you are okay. They are covering you with empathetic compassion. Those are your people. The rest probably did their best, but sometimes whether we like to admit it or not, our life chaos/routine takes over and we forget the outside world is still existing.”
He was right.
While you are going through something already so physically and mentally painful, you are simultaneously going through something just as painful by realizing who is truly in your circle.
Let me be honest in telling you there isn’t quite a sting like the one of someone not showing up with words and actions, when you would have never doubted they would.
I have had a lot of comments since my diagnosis and sharing.
Some, not so great.
Some have left me shaking my head wondering if I had ever said something so, off.
This has caused me to reevaluate how I show up for people that are in my life.
It has been an incredible lesson and this student has taken some notes.
When I first found out that I had cancer, my typical open and sharing mode was compromised with doubt.
Do I share this?
Do I hold this information in closely?
I wasn’t going to let cancer change who I was.
So, I began sharing and I continue to share on some of my social media platforms because someone out there is just like me wondering what in the world happened to their boring, semi-normal life?
I wrote about how one of my first emails was to a credit union that I am a member of.
I had just purchased a car.
I had a new loan.
I had listened to all of the GAP options and insurance, and I chose it all knowing full well that life happens.
And happen it did.
That credit union representative has since reached out to me just to let me know that I am cared for and that she is here to help in any way that she can.
Now that is the Credit Union Philosophy in action.
THAT is what we are about.
That is keeping purpose constant.
To her I am not Nanci the author, the speaker, the CU hype girl.
To her I am Nanci, a member who is married, has one son, and is doing the best that I can with the cards that have been dealt.
I wrote a letter to her direct manager because I wanted them to know THIS matters.
We often get emails sharing the bad.
The moments where member service fails.
We don’t often get the good.
The shining examples of member success.
The moments that make you draw even closer in loyalty to whom you choose to place your finances with.
I asked in an earlier article if you saw me.
I am your member with Cancer that is trying her hardest to still be a full-time employee, wife, a mother, friend and volunteer.
I will admit to you all that somedays I barely feel enough energy to be there for myself.
It is amazing how the heart and the determination you have inside can make you push through on days that you don’t feel like you can.
I am learning to listen to my body without apologies.
You’re tired? Let’s rest.
You don’t feel good? Let’s sip on seltzer water.
You don’t feel up to plans? It’s okay to cancel.
There are days at work that I am trying my hardest to be quiet while ill in the bathroom.
There are days that I feel like if I could just lay my head on my desk for five minutes, I could function for the next 7 hours.
There are days where I feel fine!
It’s a game of Russian Roulette and every single day, I spin that wheel.
I am here just to remind you that I am still your member.
I am still living and doing the best that I can.
The “sticker shock” of cancer has worn down a bit, but it is still there and even though your awareness may have faded, mine most certainly has not.
I still need you to see me.