In recent weeks I’ve had conversations with other survivors about what is our new “normal” and is it even close to what we once thought normal was? There is no simple answer, but with that you have to understand there is no such thing as normal in even the best of situations. Those people we so often look up to as role models to what type of life we want are just as messed up as the next, some just tend to hide it better than others. There is no such thing as normal… Let me repeat that. There is NO SUCH THING AS NORMAL! Get over it! Accept it! Live with it and most importantly, love it.
I lost about all of my pre-cancer friends when I was diagnosed and was bitter and angry over this for a VERY long time, but I see this situation entirely differently now. I’m so glad that they’re gone and don’t even miss them. The friends I have now are gold. I don’t tend to get close to people, but that small handful that have forced their way into my heart are there to stay. It truly isn’t a numbers game, the way kids seem to want to think of it. One trusted friend is worth more than a hundred that will bail when you need them most. With a cancer survivor this is more important than with anyone else.
Don’t expect your old friends to “get it” because it’s doubtful that they will, if they do, be grateful. It’s important to get out and experience life and sometimes you have to do that on your own, but you survived cancer, you can do this. Become who you are, don’t look back and suddenly you’ll see that there are people that are going to start breaking down this wall you thought you built. People who like you are and not who you were. You aren’t that person anymore and that’s a great thing. You’re stronger and better than you were before cancer… You just may not see it yet, but you will.
We don’t go through nonsense like cancer for no reason, now we’re a light for someone else dealing with it. It’s our calling, our responsibility, as survivors. I like to think that the radiation gives me a brighter, warmer glow that draws people in. 😉 We all have what it takes to pull others through the darkness and show that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there, the more you help others, the brighter you and your future gets.
Have an incredible week!
“We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own.” ~Ben Sweetland
I want to share an inspiring post that touched me quite deeply…
The past two weeks have been difficult for my family. My younger brother passed away and though his health was bad, it blindsided everyone. Seeing my parents hurt has been the hardest part. I’m a “fixer” and I’m used to being able to fix everything and this can’t be fixed. It’s going against all that I’ve believed about myself and what I can do and that is hard to live with.
Besides that it has created a renewed urgency in my life that I had nearly forgotten. In that sense, something good has come of the bad. I had become a bit ambivalent about my health, my life, and my goals… Okay, I admit it, I got lazy. I’ve always known that I was going to achieve amazing success, but just started sitting there waiting for it to just show up (like that would happen). Now, I feel that I have to act fast if anything is to happen at all.
My determination to get more fit than I’ve ever been has exploded and suddenly I’m aware of everything I eat and do to my body; which is long overdue. I feel like sponge, taking it all in and focusing in ways that I never thought possible. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT giving up chocolate or ice cream, but the way I look at food as a whole has changed. I eat because I’m hungry, not bored or depressed and I don’t eat just because everyone else does (I’ve never got the whole must have three meals a day thing… I’m just not that hungry).
I’ve officially registered for the Pretty Muddy event in Columbus for September and am in the process of getting registered for two other events in March and April. So now it’s a matter of building my endurance back up and learning more about trail running, which is something very new to me. I’m excited in ways that I’ve never been before about fitness and ways to stay strong over forty (Age is also playing into this, as I see others my age looking and acting twice our age… Which should be a crime!).
So, now to move even more aggressively toward what needs to be done to stay healthy and hang around to torment those around me (and I’m planning on doing that for MANY years to come… Go ahead, be afraid). My advice to you is not to wait for the death of a friend or loved one to give your life a sense of urgency, take care of yourself now because I can tell you one thing… It doesn’t get easier with age.
Have a great week and get to work on you and your future.
“The idea is to die young as late as possible.” ~Ashley Montagu