Forgive me for another bout of dexsomniac post-midnight musings! Such is my life lately, these now weekly 40 hour stretches of sleeplessness, but I’m actually figuring out how to exploit them with more writing and working on my model railroad. Last Wednesday night after DJ went to bed I actually got in nearly seven hours of track laying and wiring before my normal 7:00am wake up time!
Which brings me to the subject of this post. I really feel like I’m moving forward with this cancer thing. A couple of posts ago I observed that the first thought in my head every morning was, “I have incurable cancer.” That’s not true anymore, which is why I believe I’m moving forward, despite the fact that this is an extended grieving process that I don’t think will ever truly end. It is a constant presence that often triggers an unexpected emotional response (those personal pity parties I’ve mentioned before). I’m even integrating the daily dose of a big handful of prescription drugs, and the monthly or more often lab, doctor, and infusion room visits; they’re all just another entry on my calendar and reflective of a new lifestyle DJ and I are adopting.
But just as often now it triggers an urge to get moving, to get chores done, to tackle or finish another project, or to take the next step on a new journey. I’m even re-establishing my walking habit, two miles a day, several days a week, through the forest and around the lake that I can’t even see from my porch anymore because the forest has become so much thicker since last year. Hmm, life goes on!
But not that first paralyzing daily wake up thought. These days it’s just the rest of the string of thoughts I described, that I got my wish for one more day with the love of my life, that I am grateful for the blessings of my family , my friends, and my faith, that it doesn’t matter how many days, months, or years I have left, but that I get to choose what I make of the day, in fact that I get another day to try out another “why God isn’t done with me yet” idea. I really am moving forward.
Why? Because with so many advancements in the treatment of all types of cancers, there is a growing sense of hope for all of us cancer patients, especially for me. Treatments have advanced so far for multiple myeloma that many of us can hope to live a very long life with what is considered more of a chronic illness than a terminal disease. I watched the Stand Up To Cancer special the other night, and found myself crying for those who couldn’t be saved, and for those who are now cancer-free because of the newest treatments discovered and perfected over the last fifteen years.
So, in terms of passages, this is one man’s journey with what can be a frightening diagnosis. But I hope it’s a journey that gives others in my situation an understanding of what it’s like to travel this road, and that it gives all of you hope for your own future. I’m doing this, and I’m just an ordinary person, but I am never alone, even if I’m sitting all by myself in a dark room in those wee small hours of the morning putting a few words on a sheet of digital paper. With no small amount of joy and happiness, I’m learning to live with the uncertainties of life and, day by day, …
Moving forward – Pops