When you have cancer, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of focusing on the negatives. I mean, there’s so many that it can be hard not to, right? But let’s take a quick step back, and focus on the positives. While this may seem like a rather unusual, if not impossible, task to choose, I feel it’s important to periodically take a step back in your cancer adventure, your canventure if you will, and reflect on the things that are positive in your life. Especially when you may not be in an overly positive leg of your journey and may be finding positive reflections a bit more difficult to see clearly at the moment. I feel at those times it’s most important to find those shining lights. Additionally, if you take the time to look at the positives in your life, you never know who it may rub off on. Perhaps by taking this time to look in on myself, I’ll inspire others to find their own light in the dark. So here is my list of reasons why I wake up every morning just a little bit thankful that I got the diagnosis I did in the summer of 2015.
- Save money on shampoo, time in the shower, and the awkwardness of haircuts. I know ladies tend to like, have relationships with their hairdressers, and that’s cool and all, but I certainly don’t miss the agonizing small talk of sitting in a barber’s chair for 30 minutes trying to chat with a total stranger. And then when they do a bad job you have to just smile and pretend like you love it even though it looks like a 4-year-old came at you with scissors. Plus now my showers only take like 2 minutes. I have that awesome 2-in-1 body wash/shampoo cause I don’t really need the shampoo anymore. I wish they made more stuff like that. Gimme a 10-in-1 soap/shampoo/conditioner/toothpaste/mouth wash/whatever the hell else and get me in and outta there in a flash.
- Chicks dig scars, and now I’ve got more than I would’ve ever had if I were healthy. Is it awkward when drunk people walk up to me at bars and ask how I got my head scar and I have to explain to them it’s because I have terminal cancer? Sure. That’s why I tell them it’s a burn from a curling iron. Always confuses em.
- I can get drugs for pretty much anything at this point. Why lie to your doctor about having back pain when you can just have cancer? Makes getting a weed card way less awkward. And you don’t even have to microwave your balls.
- It’s challenging, and a life without challenges is boring. Think about it, when was the last time you were really, truly challenged? I’m not talking some nancy-ass nonsense like you had a tricky assignment at work. I mean some real-life, mentally-trying, emotionally-exhausting shit you had to fight through to find the light on the other side. I mean the kind of shit where you find out your true character and realize exactly how far you can be pushed before you crack. Those kind of opportunities don’t come along very often for most people, but I get to face it everyday.
- I’ve had the opportunity to have had someone shove a pill up my ass. Now, you’re probably thinking, “Mitch, why is that a positive to you? Are you one of them gays?” To which I would say “I most certainly am not! Not that there would be anything wrong with that!” I mean it more in the sense that I have accrued many an interesting experience from my years of treatment. Have you ever had a doctor tell you with confidence when you’ll die? Ever had to shit in a bowl in a room full of people? Ever been televised giving out awards to Bruins on center ice? Ever gotten so high on painkillers that you forgot an entire week of your life? Ever make a friend because she had to shove a pill up your ass?If you haven’t had cancer, I’ll bet you haven’t.
- It teaches you how to hope. There’s not much else like it in the world. I mean sure, you hope the Patriots win the Super Bowl and you hope you get a raise at work and you hope you won’t go bald in your twenties, but that’s some weak-ass hoping. Until you’ve been in a situation where the only thing you can do that will determine whether you live or die is hope, you don’t really know what hoping is. Trust is knowing what you’re capable of and believing that everything will be ok because you know it can be done. Hope is having absolutely no idea if what you desire is even within the realm possibility but having absolute faith that it will happen anyways because fuck, you don’t have any other choice. Hope is knowing you’ll be here tomorrow even when you don’t have a shred of evidence to support that. Hope is believing with all your heart that everything will be okay, even when it’s already very much not. Knowledge, facts, logic, reason, life, those can all turn against you. Hope is the only thing that never will. It’s the only thing you can still control when you’ve lost everything else. Never underestimate it but most of all, never lose it. I’ve never known what it’s like to live without hope, but I can only imagine it doesn’t last long.
So that’s my reasons why having cancer is positive. I’ve got a lot more too, but I’ll save those for another time. If I learned anything from having cancer or from the movie Life of Brian, it’s to always look on the bright side of life.