This week marks my one year anniversary from being diagnosed with cancer. I was actually looking forward to this date. I thought it would be a positive experience to celebrate how far I have come. Just a year ago they not only told me I was sick, but also that there was no surgery option. I was told that people can survive a few years on chemo (that was supposed to calm my nerves).
But look at me now. Just a year later I have had two surgeries, finished my chemo, and am rounding the corner to “cancer free” ville. That is why I was so taken back when instead of feeling happy and grateful, I began feeling very depressed. I no longer was able to think things like, “crazy this time last year I was doing (fill in the blank), and had no idea I had cancer”. Now I can’t say that. For some reason that upsets me. Most people I speak to do not undersand, they all seem to have the same thing to say – “Jamie, be positive! Look how far you have come!”. Yes, I agree with that – but it does not mean I am still not allowed to grieve my old life – when my world was not filled with “What if..”.
Although no one can predict their future, it is safe to assume one fact – that you will be alive. Your mind plays head games with you when that option may not always be there.
Should I save all my money for a house? But what if I die?
Should I take courses in school to further my career? But what if I die?
Should I say yes to a vacation next year? But what if I die?
I know this whole things sounds quite morbid – but those are the true thoughts that run through my head – and I am sure a lot of people with cancer have the same morbid mind games. So I have to make a choice – I cannot stop these thoughts – but I can have an answer. “Oh well”. There is a chance for any of us to kick the bucket at any time. Even one of you reading this could go before me (sorry). I have become comfortable with the fact that my attitude can change daily, even hourly. Stepping into the positive is hard, but it is something I have to work hard at every day. To change the question to – But what if I live?