Months To Years Fall 2018 Months To Years Fall 2018 - Page 66

John used to wear, From my experiences same Argyle black- with it, cancer was -gray socks, and the usually lethal. the time But I don’t have to learn to appreciate the beauty inherent finally, fully connected; I was in the fight of my life, the fight e dark brown floppy voice on the phone in being alive. I still have stress, and money problems, and for my life, and I didn’t know if I was going to win it. aggravations, and frustrations, but I can tell you without ge. But there are no   kept going, expecting hesitation, that these are beautiful problems to have Do you obituaries?  I do.  At least, I me used to to.  keep They up aks of gray like read John’s with the because I am alive to have them. And I face every day now often state that the person died “after a courageous battle nd no dimple in his particulars she rattled with a strength of heart I never knew I had. with cancer.”  I never understood that.  I never understood . He is so very much off. It amounted to one what there was to be courageous about.  Going through e John, but the cold fact—my was 2018, and I am about to start round five It is now August treatment?  Fighting for your life?  Doesn’t everyone?  husband of a six-round course of chemotherapy.  I have had another eality is Wouldn’t that he’s everyone?  People would tell me how strong very and sick. recurrence. Not long after I wrote the story above, my tumor but I just couldn’t connect to that description; stranger brave and I was, John markers started to misbehave. In May 2018, we found out was weak as a kitten and frightened as hell.  Then one is not I here. “ “ “ day my therapist told me the origin of the word courage.  that the cancer was back. Not as bad this time. Luckily it It comes from the Old French word for “heart.”  And then I was caught early, but still, it is back.  I had been in remission got it; courage means “strength only a year. of heart.”  And I realized that I People like to talk about cancer survivors having a new lease on life, a new or renewed sense of purpose, a desire to drink up the world as they relish every moment of time. That didn’t happen to me. All I felt was guilt and grief and loss. “ needed to find it in my heart to ve you ever smelled go on.  Though my body might e coming win dark? or lose, The my heart could not y the plants breathe the courageous give up.  That’s  cancer.  Once I a musty battle sigh, with a thick ispered understood greeting that, to I set out to be fierce in this fight for my life. e gathering quiet? In the end, as you can see, I The way made the dirt is it. ertaken by shadow survived the relieved smiles of it holds I its moisture those who needed to hear me se, making fragrant say I was okay, the silence of its cold friends stone? who vanished when they “ heard the news, and the panic of others who could only see their   I will admit to being devasted. I will admit to losing that sense of strength and courage I described above. I will admit to feeling like I was a “dead woman walking,” especially when my doctor told me I could expect this pattern to repeat itself going forward. Recurrence, treatment, remission. Wash, rinse, repeat.   Through all of this, I’ve never been a “why me?” kind of person.  I’ve never understood why people ask that question.  But this time, I will admit to feeling like this wasn’t fair.  I went through so own mortality. much, and worked so hard to beat it last time.  It had never And I survived with the help of countless compassionate occurred to me that I wasn’t done, that it might not have professionals who wanted nothing more than for me to been the last time, that there might not ever be a last time, succeed, while suffering only what was necessary to do so, until there is. with the kindness of those who listened without comparing,   with the generosity of those who gave despite the distance of time or place, and with the love and comfort of those I spent about a week feeling demoralized, depressed, angry and defeated.  I felt pretty sorry for myself.  Then who put their fear aside to hold mine at bay: my friends, something happened.  A switch flipped, and I don’t know my family, and my wife, for whom this was as terrifying a why or how.  Maybe it was the newfound resilience of my journey as it was for me. courageous heart.  Maybe it was the mindfulness practice   that taught me to appreciate what is, rather than ache for So here I am, about to encounter another birthday. This 66 what isn’t.  Maybe it was just my desire to live.  Either way, I