Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What Do I Say to You?

(Note: scroll down to see the other postings)

I hear this quite a bit recently as people learn of what is happening to Dan. You're not alone in your thinking. I am usually wondering the same thing. How do I tell people? How can I comfort them and give them hope but at the same time, allow myself the right to be scared or express any of the emotions that are running all over the place these days? I really have no idea. Other than that you say something. There is no right or wrong answer. Acknowledging a friend's or loved one's pain or fear can take a lot of courage, just as it takes courage for that person to open up in the first place. But start the dialogue.

A little over two years ago, a good friend was diagnosed with cancer in her late twenties. At that time, I hadn't known anyone close to me, let alone someone my age, with cancer. I was thinking back to when she told me, my reaction and what made it easy for me to talk to her. At the time, she and her husband were living in DC far from their families on the West Coast. Having spent many years away from home, I recalled how tough it was for me to be so far away even when small problems popped up. So I just figured that in some small way, I could relate to her. Even if I had no clue about cancer, I knew something about being isolated from family, and therefore, I found a pretty easy connection. While we did talk about her treatment, I am pretty certain we did a fairly decent job of talking about work, mindless gossip and other normal topics as well. And we always had yoga and Starbucks- those things were there before diagnosis and continued through & beyond her treatment! (Side note: I am happy to report my friend is living well as a cancer survivor, NED (no evidence of disease) and just bought a house!)

Listen, I'm not going to lie and say that Dan's cancer is in anyway easy to talk or write about. Some days I don't want to think about it, and some days I want to talk about it all the time. But I am now appreciating the opportunity to "reconnect" with friends across the world & work on those friendships. I am thankful to have this week of buffer time before the doctor gives us our options to enjoy spending time with Dan & the life we're building for ourselves. Honestly, it's impossible not to have a positive attitude when you're around him! Finally, I am so amazed & grateful that so many people are here to support us and carry us through this time. The calls & emails are so appreciated! So I guess that the only wrong thing to say is saying nothing at all.

Stay Positive. Stay Focused.- Meg


matt kane said...

Dan - Stay strong, win. Love the idea of the blog - we're all right there with you! One day these posts will be in your bestselling book that will inspire millions - keep writing.

Andrea Karns said...

Your words truly show strength and beauty. Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts, feelings and moments... and of course the updates. Sending many prayers and positive wishes to you both.

Erin said...

Dan and Meg, I'm sure that you don't need to be reminded that so many lives have been touched by the openness and strength of will you have demonstrated, in the face of pain and uncertainty. (But we'll remind you anyway...!) We are confident that despite the challenges ahead, and indeed because of them, your impact on others will only continue to grow.

We, like many others, are richer and wiser people for knowing you.

We love you, Dan!

Brendon, Erin, Calder (and new little Ewan...who can't wait to meet you!)

John Whittenhall said...


Your Uncle..."King Danny" has kept all of Clearwater up to date on you and spoken so proudly of your internal strength and passion to win this and help all others overcome obstacles to life. Keep up the great work and STAY STRONG! Meg, I hope to meet you someday. Prayers for strength are ongoing for you by many.

Meetal said...

Hi Dan and Meg;

I just started at NCCS and have known Dan for about 2 weeks. His strength and courage are amazing and I think we can all take a lesson from the two of you. Enjoy each other and the wonderful life that you have built!

bob waeger said...

n16487pa32Lets try this....GREAT PHOTO.

Anonymous said...

Dan & Meg, You remind me of the Alan Jackson song ", hope and love are all good things he gave us. And the greatest is love!" You guys have a strong bond of love that will get you through this together. God brought you two together for a reason. All I have to ask is can I be your flower girl at your wedding? ;) Stay strong!
Love, Melissa (CPersaks woman)

monster said...

Meg - we are all so grateful that Danny has met you and that you are so wonderful! The Waeger family is here to support you too -- we've been helping each other figure out how to deal with all this for a while and welcome you to talk to us or yell at us or cry with us or be strong with us. We all need to process this individually, but in the end, I like your 10%/90% ratio -- we need a stong positive attitude to keep up the fight!


Kalisa Owens said...

Awesome post Meg! I couldn't agree with you more...there is never a wrong thing to say!! Even when it comes out awkward or feels "not appropriate" we cancer surviors appreciate people willing to talk about it. Cancer shouldn't be a taboo is reality. And the reality of it, is that there are a lot of survivors & fighters out there!! You were a GREAT friend to me through it all...and I will forever be greatful for you treating me like I was "normal" and not a cancer patient. Dan is one lucky man. Take care of yourself and the love of your life.

Katy said...

Dan and Meg,
I am a close friend of Kalisa Owens and she has always shared with me what an amazing couple you guys are and how much she has been inspired by you both! I just wanted to write to let you know your impact extends even beyond the people that you know and your cheering squad is larger than you could know!! We are all thinking of you and sending nothing but positive thoughts!!
Katy Miller

bob said...

WOW, this bog is so awesome. I want to send a shout out to Meg for such a great posting. Saying nothing is the only bad thing. I love that!
Lindsay and I are here for both of you. Meg, you are part of the family and anytime you want to call someone, feel free to call us.. remember we are 3 hours behind! so at midnight and you guys cant sleep.. Call us. danny, when your legs hurt and you dont know what to say and you cant sleep, call us!
You both are so strong and can beat this thing, you have the strength, willpower, perservearance, and dedication to make it through anything.

Aimee Martin said...

Meg and Dan,
It is wonderful that you set up this way for all who love you to communicate with you. We have been thinking of you and praying for you all the time here in Baltimore. We hope to see you both soon. In the meantime, we'll keep in touch this way. Thank you for sharing your love with all of us.
Aimee, Zach, Zachary, Grace and Anders