Been awhile since I wrote one of these blogs. I said before that I was gonna tweet something positive about cancer every week for #ThankfulThursday, but then I remembered that twitter is the most depressing place ever and I stopped doing it. I guess when you only follow people with cancer you’re bound to see some negative posts, but my feed is like 80% tweets about friends/family dying of cancer and it’s a major downer.
So anyways, since I hate Twitter and I just happen to have a blog, I’ll post my positive thoughts here instead. Suck it, Twitter.
- It changes your life. Now, people are probably thinking this is actually negative but it’s not. Sure, you can think your life changed because you used to be a normal person with normal problems but now you’re bald with problems that are a bit more serious. I, however, think about where my life would have been if I never had cancer, and where it is now since I do. Without cancer, I was going to join the Marines as a helicopter pilot, which means right now I would be in my second to last year of service, probably living in some sand-blasted shithole like Afghanistan. Don’t get me wrong, I would probably love my job. Instead I’m in the States with a job I hate, but I have a life that I love. I have a beautiful fiancé whom I never would have met without cancer, I’m going to be a husband in less than a month, I’ve got an adorable ass doggy named Meatloaf, I get to spend every weekend with my oldest friends, and I am able to use my skills as a writer to actually make a positive impact on people. Cancer has blocked a lot of avenues for me, but in a way I feel like those avenues would have taken me the wrong direction anyways. Cancer has led me to a life that I love, and I’ll bet if you think about it, there are probably ways cancer has led you in the right direction too.
- Maturity. Cancer makes you grow up real fast. You learn what real problems are and you learn that you need a pretty level head to deal with them. You realize when you’re typing up a will that it really doesn’t matter what color dress you wear to the big party. You realize that there are bigger things going on than just the petty nonsense that the children of the world force upon us. I’m not saying that if you have cancer you should act holier-than-thou and tell everyone their problems don’t matter, I’m just saying that when you have cancer, the little problems that used to be big problems are easier to deal with. Once there’s a timer on your life, forgiveness comes easier, pride becomes less important and things like humility and righteousness become more important. But that’s just me, there are probably tons of whiny, childish cancer-havers running around.
- Having the ability to have a profound effect on people. When you carry yourself with pride and valor in the face of untimely death and fear, people take notice. If you’re a cancer-haver who can use the fear of death as motivation and are able to overcome the odds of your disease, people will admire that. People will want to see that in themselves. In a way, cancer gives you a platform to show the world what you’re made of that no other competition on Earth can match. Being able to share that sort of experience with the world is an amazing way to leave a lasting mark on the Earth that prior to cancer you wouldn’t have had the ability to. I mean, not saying I’m one of those people but also not not saying that.
- Guilt-Free eating. I guess this doesn’t apply to everyone as some cancer-havers put themselves on strict diets to try and affect change, but for the most part you can eat whatever. I’m usually so nauseous that too much of anything makes my tummy hurt. So I eat solely to intake calories. While healthy people have to count calories to lose weight, I’m counting calories to make sure it’s sufficient to fuel my body and keep my internal engine revving. While I was writing this, I ate an entire bag of bacon jerky and I feel a million times better now that I have some food in my stomach. I still eat greens to give the image of healthiness, but in reality, I’m eating whatever the hell I want. Long as it has calories, I can eat it. Gimme all your milkshakes and Frosty’s, they’re in the wedding diet.
- Friends. When you spend countless hours in a hospital where the same people work everyday, you’re bound to make some connections. I would go as far as to say I’m as close with my doctors and nurses as I am with any of my coworkers, some even more so. If there was ever a happy hour after the outpatient wing closed you bet your ass I would be going. Throwing back Jager bombs with my oncologist, having some beers with my nurses, what a ball! I love these people, they keep me alive. And they love me, I brighten their day and remind them that their work makes a difference. Without cancer, I never would have met these people and all of our lives would be worse for it. In my humble opinion, of course. Don’t ask Hil Dog, she would probably say her life is worse off but that’s just cause she’s scared to admit she looooveessss meeee.
So there you go. Chin up, buckaroo, cancer ain’t so bad. And when it is so bad, just remember the better times that await you.