In Limbo

(Guest post … By my amazing friend Linda)

Some of you are old enough to remember the wonderful Chubby Checkers song called the “Limbo Dance.”  As someone who watched many skating parties in my days of teaching, I remember watching children and adults, on roller skates no less, doing the limbo dance.   What does that have to do with cancer treatments?

Today I was talking with a friend about how BLAH cancer feels.  No energy to do anything, can’t plan anything, a desire to do something, but just can’t find the motivation or energy to do it. 

She said, “Oh, so your life is in limbo.”   

As soon as she said those words, the visual of the limbo dance came to my mind.  With each chemo treatment, the pole has moved a little lower.  With the diagnosis, it started out with the limbo pole fairly high, and I was confident that it would not break me.  But with each round of chemo, the pole has gotten a little lower and a little lower, until finally, just when I thought I couldn’t push through anymore, it was time for surgery.  For 3 and a half weeks I have had a reprieve from the limbo dance as the music was on hold while I healed from surgery.  But now I am hearing the music start again, and I am wondering how long I can hang in limbo.  

With three more rounds of chemo ahead of me (and the next one is this Friday) we know for sure I will be residing in limbo land at least until the end of May.  My life is in limbo now and after June arrives, we still don’t know.  As I continued the discussion with my dear friend, I talked about how hard it is to just live TODAY.   It’s not that I am excited about going somewhere or doing something, it’s more like I just CAN’T.  So how do I then live?   I continue to do the limbo, bending down as far as I can, and often feeling broken.  The long incision is healing and even though I am doing all I can to stay on my feet, some days, I simply cannot.   Living in a time when society pushes everyone to be strong and independent, sometimes I just have to stop and say, “No Thank you.   I am not strong.  I am not independent. I am about to fall under the weight of the limbo life in which I now reside.”  I think of the apostle Paul who, even when he was in prison, said to rejoice always, to pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all things.

 I am learning to be content in this life of limbo.   After you finish reading this today, most of you will have an agenda—whether it’s to go to work or volunteering, or doing the laundry, or cleaning the kitchen, feeding the animals in the barn, or whatever.  Cancer patients do not have that luxury.  There are lots of people I know (and I bet you know some, too), whose life is hanging in the balance, whether they are waiting for things to improve for someone in the hospital, waiting for children to come to their senses, waiting for a medical report, or simply waiting out the storm they are in.  If they can’t rejoice, if they can’t pray, if they can’t give thanks in all things, do it for them.   Let them know you are doing the limbo dance with them.

Thank you to all of you who have been hanging in limbo with me over the past 3 months!  Keep singing and dancing with me!

Love to you all (and all means all)!


5 responses to “In Limbo”

  1. Was thinking of you this morning – how are you doing?


    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are amazing, Heidi. ❤


  3. Life is hard for a lot of people these days. Today I was supposed to meet a lady who recently lost her sight, who is lonely and whose family is mostly out of town. She misses reading, and I will probably spend some time reading to her in the future. But today is out because of nine cases of Covd in the nursing home. 😥
    Heidi, I hope you are geting well rested and finding something to laugh about, that’ll help.


  4. Dear Linda, thank you for fighting through the fatigue, nausea, doldrums, etc. of chemo in order to write this, to help us understand your circumstances and how others can do the limbo dance with you. (What a wonderful metaphor, by the way!) I pray that sooner than later you’ll come to the end of the dark valley that is chemo–with a clean bill of health as well!

    Liked by 1 person

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