Hey, we're not dead yet, are we ?
With cancer hanging over your head, it's easy to forget that. You start mentally winding a shroud around yourself, trying to bite the concept of mortality into digestible portions, reach a place where you can make peace with it.
But we're not dead yet. I hope to live another 30 years. (touch wood, don't jinx yourself, Simon).
I thought it might be worth taking a pause, stepping back from the cancer, and considering this simple question:
"What are the three best things in your life right now ?"
Big. Small. Funny. Shameful. It doesn't matter. They may only be uniquely good for you, other people may be appalled - you may find the tang of your farts fantastically deliciously smelling and inviting and be quite proud of them at parties. Was just thinking it's worth it as an exercise to think about those things, and to list them out, reminding yourself and others that there are still rich, good, vital things in your world.
For me ?
1) my wife and kids: surviving cancer has given me new insights into who I want to be as a human being, allowing me to try and remedy problems with my parenting method, and my performance as a partner. It's enriching and wonderful having these 4 people in my life. I cherish them. I'd burn for them. I'd die today, with gratitude, if I knew it was to save any one of them.
2) Computer games. Luckily, before I got sick, and before my son was diagnosed with autism, I started a small business. It's not anywhere near the million buck golden ticket I need it to be, but it's built on solid partnerships with high performing amicable sister companies, so it has longevity, and it allows me to have free time. When I'm feeling poorly - chemo brain, rad fatigue, or just plain lazy, I've got this VR kit, and play these games in virtual reality .. there's one game called "Fallout 4" .. I actually played the 1st one as a teenager, and now I can enter into this 3D world with virtual goggles on, and interact with this story and environment in amazing and fun ways. I'm an old man .. but hey, I love that shit. (Oh, and on the business, if you ever need travel insurance - top shelf, underwritten by Lloyds of London, that is quite often less than half what you'd pay through your travel agent - hit me up www.simplytravelinsurance.com.au, heh. And write a review. Or five. Help a brother out 🙂 sorry for the shameless plug )
3) Guitar: I've never in my lifetime been musical, but after finishing cancer treatment, I decided to start learning the guitar. It's almost in defiance of cancer, a way of saying. "First I was afraid, I was petrified .. but I, I will survive". Investing so much time and effort in developing a skill is kinda a way of saying "screw you cancer, I plan to LIVE", and also surprisingly fun and rewarding.
So yeah, that'd probably be my top three things. It's not a bucket list, it's not earth shattering insights, it's just three things that matter to me and make me happy.
There are still things that matter to you and make you happy, right ?
Screw cancer ! Don't let it rob you of those things 🙂
Thank you for starting this thread! I need it now. I got a call last night from Renal that my transplanted kidney now has the disease that my original kidneys had. So I am starting to tidy up at work to leave by the end of the year.
The three best things in my life right now are:
My husband, cat, family and friends
My memories of a very recent UK holiday with my sister
Spring! Flowers, green leaves on trees and the promise of warmth
My colleagues have been incredibly supportive too. I've been really lucky to have had an interesting and intellectually challenging career.
There are some upsides to everything. Retiring (young at 48) means I will have more time at home with my husband. Why leave work early? Because there is no way to tell how long my transplant will hold out for and quality time with my husband is my #1 goal. My mantra? Do nice things and be nice to yourself.
Thank you Captain and CathV for the invitation to share the light in our lives! I felt so uplifted reading your posts!
Having cancer and trying to figure out the direction it is pointing me in has been a fantastic (if not harrowing) experience. The three best things in my life right now:
1. Developing intuition. I used to look outside for all the answers. With the cancer, many (if not most) of the outside answers didn't jive with what was speaking from within. Normally I would have ignored the small voice, but now I'm taking it seriously and cultivating stillness so that I can hear what it's saying. It's rarely wrong. So I'm feeling more confident, empowered and authentic. This is living.
2. The people I am encountering. The outpouring of love, intelligence, and openness from the healers that I'm meeting, the family and friends who choose to be interested in me during this not-so-fun phase of life, and other people with cancer or chronic illness who themselves have become the profoundest of philosophers. I'm blessed to have people to share with, openly and frankly. I feel like I'm part of the world now.
3. Working with the questions and becoming more aware of myself. What is healing? What is health? What is it to be human? What is my purpose? How can I learn to love more deeply? What is the most important thing in this moment?
Outpourings of love to you all as you journey with and after cancer!
Wow Simon you have a way of making me think which is pretty damned good with my brain right now.
The best three things in my life right now:-
1/ Has to be my family. They are an endless source of support and humour and I don't honestly think I would be here if I had not got them. They will even crack jokes about cancer and even about death and what they want me to do when I pass to prove there is life after death. My eldest is a gamer and she has definitely asked me not to write anything on her puter to say hey hun I am still around cos it would scare her shitless but I can possess her dog and make it bark to go outside to pee instead of peeing on the floor all the time. Go figure how that girl's mind works.
2/ Has to be the fact my husband left me a while after surgery and I was still in hospital. I am not bitter about it at all and am really happy he did so. Now I can concentrate on me and fighting this darn disease and not worry about doing his dirty washing or if he needs to talk through his problems. I really do simply wish him all the happiness in the world.
3/Believe it or not, my cancer is one thing too. Before it I was in a very unhappy marriage, that is not so now. I am in a lovely aged care facility and although it happened about 10 years before I expected it to I am grateful to be here. I was also alienated from 2 of my daughters and now I have terminal cancer they are back in my life and we are loving each others company. I am now a much nicer person than I was before I got sick and my life was so bad prior to my illness. I have lost 30 kilos and feel all the better for that. I am more active and I have found an inner peace that is breathtaking at times. I suffered from a mental illness and yes it is still there but I no longer need heavy duty medications for it and I am symptom less from it. My mind has seemed to have shifted into gear and is cooperating with me instead of fighting against me. (Yes I am being supervised with this and didn't just stop taking the meds off my own back.) My kids tell me I am just like their old mum of about 20 years ago. I now allow myself the freedom of letting out my feelings and I laugh and cry and get grumpy. I dance and sleep and watch TV and walk when I want to. I have much to be thankful for.
Thank you for this thread I enjoyed it immensely. I think it is important to be grateful for the wonderful things in life at a time it is so easy to forget.
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