Jan’s Diary – The Silver Lining

Recently, my beloved sister-in-law was diagnosed with brain cancer. Naturally, our first reaction – myself, her friends and my entire family – was: ?Oh no!? How terrible!? And yet, there is always a bigger picture going on.

Nancy is instinctively a Giver.? During the most recent five years, she has taken on sole responsibility for her aging mother.? She took financial responsibility by buying her mother her own home, hiring round-the-clock nursing service to tend to her, and Nancy, herself, visited and stayed with her mother two nights a week so her mother wouldn?t be alone.? She fell into a similar pattern of overwhelming responsibility with her aging father: visiting him three times a week, bringing in his groceries as he became increasingly disinclined to leave his home.

She got no help from her younger sister who was herself constantly besieged with health issues and dependent upon Nancy.? Her daughter was a similar draining financial and emotional responsibility.? Even my brother consistently pulled upon Nancy?s giving nature to make his life easier.? And from Nancy?s point of view, she would rather give beyond her own authentic level of energy than say ?no? and go through the resulting disharmony.? It had become a ?peace at any price? life.

She doesn?t do that anymore.? To survive, she is forced to focus on herself – her OWN well being – for a change.? Magically, others have stepped up to the plate to handle the responsibilities Nancy had solely assumed.? Her daughter has shifted from being a part of the problem, to being part of the solution.? Her nephew is finding independent financial support for his mother and aging grandparents.? My brother – a deeply good-hearted man – has re-focused on supporting Nancy on HER terms, rather than his own.?? Everyone is learning and growing and Nancy has engendered so much love, that others are willing to change themselves to support her recovery.

A common psychological mind-set that frequently seems to correlate with cancer is: ?I?m in an intolerable situation – AND – there?s no way out?= cancer.

Nancy is no longer in that mind-set.? She is growing and learning to say ?no? to situations that are counter-productive to her own well being.?? She is availing herself of both conventional and non-conventional treatments and has . . . . .

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