It’s been quite a bit of time since my last post, but I’m revving up. I’ll be using this as an opportunity to walk through my next phase regarding cancer — no, not my own, but rather that of my son.
Here’s some history that’s pertinent. I share it not to overwhelm you, but rather to discuss the insidious nature of this disease.
When I was 32 years old (and my son was a baby), my younger brother died of melanoma. He was 27 and it was a rapid cancer that took him in less than a year.
Since then, I’ve lost others — 2 brothers (one from cancer), a cousin from pancreatic cancer and I’ve had a niece experience cancer plus my own breast cancer. There’s a part of me screaming — “enough is enough.” I feel like I understand cancer now — the whole shebang … the diagnosis, the surgeries, the chemotherapy, the radiation, the hair loss. I know it from my years as a therapist, my time of running a hospice. I know it as the sister, the cousin, the aunt, the patient. But, none of that prepared me to hear the words from my son that he has melanoma. Nothing.
We’ve come a long way since my younger brother had it 35 years ago. My son’s odds are very good — caught it early, it’s small, yada, yada, yada. Surgery is in about a week and a half and then we’ll know. I’m “trying” keep my spirits up and know that all will be well, but until I know that, I don’t know that.
So, how do I / we, as humans, thrive during the challenging times? I’m a thriver — it says so all over this site.
I’m far away from where my son lives. I’m in NYC, he’s in Austin, TX. I’ll be there next week. But, while I’m in NY, I’m doing what I love to do here. I work at home, for myself. My concentration isn’t very good at the moment, so I give myself permission to do whatever helps me feel better. I’ve gone to some movies, out to dinner or for a glass of wine with friends. I’ll be going to a play this weekend, a social event on Friday night. I’m keeping my spirits up by NOT pulling inward, hiding. I’m carrying on with my life. Believe me, when I’m home later at night, ready for bed … I’m aware of that twinge of worry in my heart, BUT, I’m not consumed by it. I’m “hanging in there.” Period. That’s thriving to me.
I’m also not perfect. I’m eating comfort food (too much sugar and too many carbs), but I’m balancing that with walking and exercise. You see … life goes on in spite of whatever is going on elsewhere. It’s up to each one of us to carry that through.
I hope this post helps to set the context for the rest to follow. I’ll be reporting about how I am thriving throughout this ordeal AND this ordeal will be going on for the next couple of weeks. Please keep coming back, reading and most especially, sharing your comments and adding to the page about how you are thriving.
Thanks for listening.