Lessons from Betsy

December 13, 2018
  • December 13, 2018
  • Living with Cancer Blog

By Jenny S


I feel a strange mix of fear and dread as we get closer to Christmas. My therapist says if I just pause and breathe through the fear, I will be rewarded with more peace and less anxiety. She’s right, I’m sure, but this is not how I’m wired, it’s not an easy exercise for me. I’ve always been forward thinking and I don’t stop to check my breathing and emotions. If I could take lessons from my dog Betsy, I’d have this mastered. She is always sharp and ultra focused but she’s calm too and content. She seems to know things. I feel like if she could talk she’d be the best therapist.


It’s bizarre to be 39 and to suddenly have my life on hold for cancer. I feel like just yesterday I was on such a roll. I got the house I wanted, good people around me and although my love life has suffered some major setbacks, I was killing it in my career. Now I’m in this weird limbo. Not a comfortable place for me and not easy for my family. And it doesn’t help that I’m having trouble letting others help – I’ve been so strong and independent all of my life, I don’t know how to open up and let people do for me.

My Wellspring friends and my therapist help quite a bit. I’m learning that cancer doesn’t define me, but I can tell you, it is definitely changing me. In the past I have been bold and fearless, and now I’m pretty much frail and afraid.

I wonder how others who have cancer are coping over this season?

4 Responses

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful relationship you had with your mom. What a blessing for both of you. Be kind to yourself, it sound like you’ve honoured your mom so well. Her love lives on iwith you in your heart!

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