Being Okay vs. Being Pretty Awesome.
When I was walking through the shop this morning on my way to my desk, I passed one of the guys who works out on the floor. We exchanged the standard morning pleasantries, and when I asked how he was this morning and he responded, “Pretty awesome.”
Wow… I was immediately ashamed of my mopey “Okay” response. I should be the one who is “pretty awesome” today. But instead I’m filled with the stupid asshole-y nervousness that goes along with today being not only my quarterly oncology follow-up, but also exactly a year and a half since my diagnosis. I should be feeling pretty awesome. First off, because instead of this being 3 months since my last visit, it’s 4 since Dr. Kebria felt so good about my last exam. And secondly because it’s only been a year and a half and I don’t have cancer. And I HAVEN’T had cancer in over a year.
I should be feeling pretty awesome. My life? It’s pretty fucking awesome. Why on earth am I letting the nerves get to me??
I mean, I know why. We’ve talked a lot in my Cancer Survivor class at The Gathering Place about the triggers that stir up the fears of recurrence in any cancer survivor, and OBVIOUSLY an oncology appointment is going to be a big trigger. Especially after spending a year going to every OTHER doctor on the planet trying to figure out what was wrong and FINALLY getting diagnosed on my first visit to this particular doctor.
But it’s still so important to me, and I think in general, to stay POSITIVE! And one of the biggest reasons is that I TRULY believe that attitude plays a key (if not THE key) role in staying healthy and moving forward and away from cancer. Since my diagnosis (and even before it, obviously) I have met dozens of cancer survivors. Some still fighting. Some years out. Some literally days out. Some don’t ever want to acknowledge it again. Others try to celebrate it and all of the GOOD it brought into their lives (despite all the bad). This is the category I do my best to fall into. I try to treat every silly anniversary like the most important day of my life. Because honestly? Every SINGLE day… every single day that I am not just healthy but alive – that day IS the most important day of my life. And cancer did that. Gave me that. That’s part of why it makes me sad to see some of the people I have met who have either gone to a really negative place because of cancer (or those who already LIVED in that land of perpetual negativity) deal with complications. Recurrences. I can’t help but wonder, “What if you were just a little less shitty? A little less miserable? A little less negative? Would it have made a difference in your cancer story?” I’m not saying that people should end up cured just because they’re not being creeps, but seriously? It can’t fucking hurt, can it?? To be a little positive. To believe. To know in your heart that you’re going to beat it.
And then that brings me back to my own “off” mood this morning and makes me genuinely want to be positive today. To not just be “okay” but to actually be “pretty awesome”. So that’s the plan.
Wish me luck this afternoon. And go be pretty awesome yourselves.