There is no "i" in cancer

We were heading to whatever meal is at 2:30pm (it was after lunch but before dinner but we hadn't eaten in hours). Ian had just finished losing his mind over the indignity of having to wear shoes bring shoes with us out of the house. And Megan called to talk to me about the Care Calendar she's setting up. We had planned on talking on the phone about it and it should have been fine. But as she went over the various options within the calendar (yard work, housekeeping, food, child care, transportation), I felt my stomach getting icky. We continued the conversation as I ordered my lunch/dinner (yeah, I was one of those assholes on their phone) and finished up shortly after sitting at the table. I hung up and Rich and I just looked at each other across the table, both of us feeling kind of icky.

Mind you, Megan did nothing wrong. On the contrary, she has been doing all kinds of things right. She's volunteered to be the consigliere for this operation through the calendar app so that I don't have to field a million calls and texts. The real issue was that she was asking me what help we were going to need, both in Baltimore and once we get home. We aren't very good at asking for help.

We come by it honestly, as neither of our parents are particularly adept at asking for help. Mom had a mastectomy and reconstruction with only Daddy to help her for the most part. The idea of having a neighbor mow my parents' lawn or do their dishes is laughable on a number of levels. Megan was asking if we should have "backup" caregivers for Ian to assist Rich's folks and my first thought was they themselves would have to be hospitalized before they would call someone 45 minutes away and ask them to come watch our kid, regardless of if that person is an approved kid watcher.

So it's hard. Being positive in the face of cancer is way easier than considering the idea of someone else taking out my trash or walking my dogs. Megan talked about the help we would need once we're home and I thought, "but we'll be home then. We can just do our thing." Except that Rich will have a 27" seam down the middle of him and we'll have a busy three year old and I'll have some sort of work thing I'll have to do at some point. So maybe taking one or two things off our plate might help a little.

It all just seems like a lot of little things. But at the same time, if a lot of little things are divided up amongst a lot of people, it's far better than one person (me) trying to do them all.

So I'm hereby promising to ask for help. Megan is coordinating an entire web site structured for that very purpose. I will let everyone know what you can do to ease our load, regardless of if you're in Virginia, Maryland or Hong Kong. And let me be the first to say thank you for all you've done already and what you will do. We are all on Team Stryker and it is a pretty kick ass team.