It’s not often; heck, it’s extremely rare, that I don’t write a cancer column, as I call them. And my reaction to not having the ‘urge’ to write yet another cancer column is, somewhere between simply taking a break/brake in the action and having no need to impose my cancer-centric self-indulgence on you faithful readers.
I’ll be the first to acknowledge that I write these columns because I need to, and because I’m allowed to; thank you Mary Kimm. Not that the related purpose is to avoid therapy (however, I did go on a handful of appointments with a psychologist but it seemed pointless and especially so, when the therapist expressed that she felt I was fairly well-adjusted). Ergo, I really didn’t see a purpose per se.
Oh sure, I will admit that the writing of these columns gets out of me some very personal and occasionally painful prose outlining the anxieties and fears of a cancer patient undergoing life-sustaining treatment that is better out than in, if professionals are to be believed. And maybe I’ll further acknowledge that, based on feedback I’ve received in the six-plus years that I’ve been writing them, that the content is, generally speaking, much appreciated (I’m not ready to characterize them as having served a greater purpose/been for the greater good however, because it’s only me I’m writing about and there’s a much bigger world than what I perceive in my head) and helpful. Nevertheless, I can’t imagine that it’s just me I’m writing about, mostly; and a la Las Vegas, sort of: in that what happens to me only happens to me. Hardly.
Just because I’ve made public something very personal and presumably private doesn’t make me the go-to-guy for cancer chat, it just makes me a person willing to open the doors wider than are typically opened. So what? A little honesty never hurt anyone; self-indulgence though, can be really boring and tiresome. (I mean, sometimes, too much of a good thing is simply too much. To quote my deceased mother: “It’s enough already.”) And as much as I’m cognizant of possibly droning on and wasting what attention-span you’ve allocated in my direction, I am trying not to drone on and trying not to lose you in the process.
Possibly there is a means to my hopefully not premature end. Perhaps admitting the error of my ways and/or addressing the cancer concerns as I regularly do has contributed/caused my rather unexpected (based on my oncologist’s original “13 month to two year prognosis from FEBRUARY 2009) living “unexpectancy.” Perhaps laughing in the face of danger extends one’s life more than giving in to it. All I know is, whatever I’ve done/been able to do emotionally was not/has not been thought out. I’ve just continued to be me, myself and I — which has included my weekly cancer columns. Moreover, the three of us, collectively, have likely survived for so long because so much that could have bothered us/me, didn’t.
Whether it was the outlet I had/have in my column, my personality, encouragement from family and friends, or my connection to The Connection, there’s no way to know. What I do know is, the weeks when I don’t write a cancer column are my favorites. Those are the weeks when I feel that cancer doesn’t have a hold on me and in turn, I feel that I have a hold on cancer. And if there’s one thing us cancer patients want to feel, it’s control. Even if it’s only for a week or two, here or there, the benefit is exponentially greater than the time we actually get to experience it.