When I began this blog, it was with the intent of updating and adding to the “Cancer Lesson” posts I’d written on my “Reading, Writing, Ranting, and Raving” blog, with the eventual aim of self-publishing these lessons in a book. As such, I began to re-read and re-write these lessons with the perspective that only the passing of time can provide.
I was pleased to discover most of my lessons still ring true.
Being diagnosed with cancer, going through treatment, and coming out the other side, can change a person. Again, it is only with the passage of time that we see how we have changed.
My life is vastly different from the one I led six years ago, and I know many of the decisions I’ve made are informed by a newly strengthened understanding that my time here, like everyone’s, is limited.
I retired from the library in November and now work part-time in a grocery store and one morning a week at a yoga studio. Earlier in the year, I chose to stop writing romance because it had begun to feel like work, like an unpaid job I no longer enjoyed. But I still wanted to “finish” this blog series, determined still to publish these lessons. This had been my goal for so long, I almost forgot why I’d decided on this course of action to begin with.
The reason was, of course, so others in a similar situation would feel less alone.
This duty weighed on me, and that’s part of the reason I’ve been so very sporadic about posting. It’s an unattractive aspect of my personality, but guilt makes me contrary, and so I put off writing.
Then, as I sometimes do, I woke up in the middle of the night about a month ago with a startling realization. I don’t need to publish these blogs in a book of any form because they are already published here, freely available to any who would care to read.
And so, I have finally returned to my cancer lessons.
If you are new to reading this blog series, I should warn you, the lessons — like life itself — are not necessarily in logical order. There are two reasons for this. As I’ve said, life lessons don’t always come in an orderly fashion. Also, when I planned to publish these lessons, in order to make the book worth buying I took the first lessons off the blog. That way, people would not have access to the full series for free.
I will be re-posting these in the near future, but they will be out of order. If you want to read the lessons in order, I suggest you use the search box.
In the six years since my diagnosis, I’ve come to believe that a big part of the reason I’m still here to write these blogs is luck. There are many cancer patients who do everything right, who undergo much more rigorous treatment than I did, and they are no longer with us.
Does this mean I am discounting the many ways a person can make it less likely s/he will die of cancer?
No, but until we understand what causes every form of cancer in each person it chooses (and I’m not convinced we ever will), I will remain thankful that, at least for now, I am one of the lucky ones.
Thank you for reading.