I’ve decided rather than just post a top 10 list of readers’ favorite posts, the ones they want to read again, I will be posting the most-requested pieces each day in January. I will still be writing new material; on those days two posts may go out. There is so much material here that most new readers haven’t seen, and I’d love to start the new year off by sharing some of it with them. Readers who’ve been here from the beginning tell me they welcome the opportunity to re-read some of the old work, so I’ll trust them on that since most of my pieces are short. I’ll make a list of the top pieces with hyperlinks so you will be able to easily find them in the future from the website home page.
I do say that it’s very interesting for me to go back and read these knowing that my life has taken a turn since many were written. I wrote them during/after my initial treatment for cancer. Recurrence and/or metastasis was “just” a fear. That fear was real. It motivated me to act a certain way about my health and my life. Those acts obviously weren’t enough because here I am with Stage IV. But make no mistake, the fear of metastasis bears no earthly relationship to the fear that you have when you are told you actually have it, are living with it, are dying with it. No relation at all.
I’ve thought about revising some of the pieces to reflect my new health status but decided not to. They were my truth at the time. My reality now is different, and I document it accordingly.
I’d love to hear your comments as always… It’s been truly gratifying to see how much more response there is now and your willingness to comment and share your reactions to the pieces. Thank you for supporting me in 2012 and let’s see what 2013 brings. I’ll be writing my way through it.
This is one of the most requested pieces. Yes, I really do know people who utter the words, “Cancer is a gift.” And I still am baffled by that statement. The following post, “Cancer is not a gift” was originally written in 2009 and is a response to one such person.
I have a friend who says that “cancer has been her gift.”
She says that it’s been the best thing that’s ever happened to her.
That perspective doesn’t suit me. Despite being optimistic and determined, I am a realist. I see the ugly warts.
I don’t think it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me; in fact, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
A gift is something you want to share.
Something you want to give to someone else.
Something you say “Next time I need to give a special gift to show someone I care, this is what I want to give.”
Cancer is not that thing.
The words we use to describe illness, death, and emotion are important– we should choose them carefully.
Cancer is not a gift:
It’s what you get.
It’s what I got.
It’s a twist of fate.
A piece of bad luck.
But once you’ve got it, you have to decide what you’re going to do with it.
You can’t give it away, so you might as well make the best of it.
Fortunately, some good comes with it too.
And one of the best parts is the people you will meet.
Just because you don’t think it’s the best thing,
or a good thing,
doesn’t mean you are a negative person
or a bad person
or any particular kind of person.
In fact, it may mean you are a realistic person.
It may mean you are having a bad day.
Or a good day.
Or just a day.
And you will have those days:
And everything in between.
The days are gifts.
You can celebrate the days.
You should celebrate the days.
But don’t celebrate the disease.
Don’t treat it like a prize.
You are the prize.
You are doing the work.
You get the credit.