I don’t have much else to say aside from the fact that I’m noticing small subtle shifts every day. For the better. And I’m thankful for this.
I’m also thankful for my friends because they say things like this:
My stinky farts and my baby talk voice define me more than this unproliferated cell growth nonsense does. Thank GOD for that. Truly. I’m still me. (And still gassy. I blame the increased broccoli intake).
I had a follow up appointment with my surgeon today, who also had a traumatic health experience… he tore his carotid changing a light bulb years ago. Most people drop dead. He did not. And I am so incredibly thankful for this. He has given me more hope than I can even say-he’s truly a remarkable person, and I feel lucky to have him as part of my medical team. In the appointment, we were having a conversation about adjusting to life after traumatizing experiences, and he said something along the lines of “For a while, the small stuff stopped bothering me. Like delayed flights or missing a plane-those things were suddenly less important in comparison. And then eventually, I became the same old jerk I always was”.
I’m curious if I will ever become the same old jerk I always was. Cancer has opened my eyes to things I never dreamed of. First of all, for someone without a medical degree or any real scientific knowledge aside from high school chemistry and bio, I know far more than I ever thought I’d know about this disease. It’s opened my eyes to the power of nutrition, and the health crisis we have on our hands in this modern world, which is directly related to larger social and political systems in very complex ways…
Cancer has highlighted what it means to be a friend. My ability to be a friend to others has been challenged in this process, because I find it harder to connect with the worries and concerns of my non-cancer friends. But at the same time, isolation isn’t good for me. And I have a lot of great people in my life. And my ability to connect to others on an emotional level is one of my biggest strengths, I think. So cancer or no cancer, I am still able to be a friend. Regardless of if my friends biggest concern is with the complications of dating, and not with trying to wrap their head around their mortality. Everyone’s got their shit, the c-word just happens to have a cameo role in my life right now. But I will not let it steal the show. This life is mine to lead. And I’m leading it. Every day that I wake up and make myself a healthy meal. Take my supplements. Run my 5 miles. Give myself my mistletoe injections. Read feminist literature. Research. Think critically about things related to health. The health of the planet. Contemplate the meaning of my existence, and how cancer fits into it. Wonder what the actual fuck my dog is thinking when she decides to attack her pillow, or when she looks at me (is she looking at me lovingly? Or does she think I’m a straight up imbecile?). Listen to opera arias and sometimes find myself thinking somewhat arrogantly “yeah, I know my technique is bad/non existent, but I like the tone quality of my voice better than hers…”.
So maybe there are parts of me that are “the same old jerk I always was”(as evidenced by the last sentence in that long litany). And maybe there are other parts that are emerging. We shall see. ✨