June 23rd, 2016 was a surreal day. That’s the day I first heard, “You have cancer.” What? I don’t get cancer. That happens to other people. Right?
The rest of June was a blur. July slogged by as we waded through tests, doctor visits and, finally, a surgery date.
Fast forward to today, September 1st.
One lumpectomy later, followed by today’s official launch of 6-week radiation course, and I’m on my way to a very good chance of no recurrence—statistically speaking. I’ll take that.
The harder part, honestly, harder than the whole medical side of things, has been figuring out how to hit the “reset” button that a cancer diagnosis so rudely shoves in your face.
We are all going to die.
Why is it so easy to live as if this were not true?
Ok…so I’m awake, changes need to be made. I get it. Now what?
Turns out, it’s much, much easier to take a pill or get medical treatment than to change the way you live and think. It’s far harder than it seems to stop working ridiculous hours or, even scarier, to wonder what role I played in my own demise. It’s hard to re-engage—to start saying “yes” to your life, instead of “maybe” or “I’ll think about it” or “maybe next time.”
It’s harder than it seems to find your lost self. I don’t pretend to have figured it out. For now, I am working through my own personal treatment plan for a full recovery. The plan is evolving, but here’s the start:
- NO more toxic political news.
- Work from a different café—several times a week if possible.
- Watch more stupid pet videos, like this oddly mesmerizing one
- Or this one, in honor of my dachshund, Shorty
- Let go of perfect. Embrace “good enough.”
- More books, less technology. Shout out to these recent reads:
- Love Does, by Bob Goff. (This book might be saving my life. It’s sort of a “just say yes” book.)
- A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, by Donald Miller (Another “just say yes” book, but a cool take on the whole idea becoming better storytellers for our own lives)
- Scary Close, by Donald Miller
- Daring Greatly and Rising Strong by Brene Brown (Thanks for the recommendation, Vivien. Brene is simultaneously kicking my butt and helping me be nicer to myself.)
- Say “no” more often to the wrong things and “yes” to the right things.
- Cultivate the wisdom to know the difference for #7.
- Live my life. Here. Now. Today.
I’ve always been a writer. But I pretty much abandoned my personal writing a few years ago for reasons I am only beginning to understand.
So….this is me…writing again.
One little “yes” for today. A good start on my good recovery plan.