|Umm, I definitely intend on joining the Brotherhood. Shoddy journalism again HuffPost.|
Apparently today is National Cancer Survivor Day, why am I always the last to find out? Maybe because I'm not technically a survivor. After further thought of two seconds, maybe it's just a USA thing. Okay, I just checked on Wikipedia via Google (as if there was another way) and here is what I read:
Yup, those Americans know how to be the first. Seeing that there is a National Cancer Survivors Day and today is that day and I have cancer and I have a blog, I felt it was apropos to express something.
One of the worst things about this blog and people knowing I have cancer is I'm that "guy with cancer." People say "Have you heard about Ruban?" Other person shakes head and says "Who's that and what happened?" "Oh you know Ruban, the bald guy with bad posture. Well anyways, he has cancer." "Yeah, that's right, I did hear about him, he's that cancer guy. Isn't he penniless and nearly dead?"
What's so bad about that? Nothing really. It's just odd being the one talked about. Don't get me wrong, if I hear that you had cancer I'll be saying "Did you hear who has cancer?" Later you'll hear "Ruban told me you have cancer." Then you'll say "Bald Ruban? Cancer guy? That's odd, I thought he was dead."
One day I won't be cancer guy, I'll be that cancer survivor guy. Will that mean I"ll have to wear the yellow bracelet, put a plasmacytoma awareness ribbon on my car (just Googled to see what one looks like and there isn't one, yet), or grow a mustache for Movember? Social protocols can be a jungle to navigate.
The best thing about the blog is I have an opportunity to share my story, my "aha moments". (Side note: Who keeps on reading in Nigeria, Malaysia, Finland, Germany, South Korea, etc.? This puzzle keeps me up at night.)
Life has defining moments and moments you thought were defining at the time. Seeing my first concert in Grade 7, Young MC of 'Bust a Move' fame, I thought was a life defining moment. Years go on and life becomes more complex. Watching beautiful Myrtle being born; now that was a life defining moment! After her birth I felt guilty to going to sleep, afraid to miss her awake or her needing me. My life had more value than I ever imagined and I viewed the world differently. 261 days later a tumor is found on my hip. A month later I find out it's cancer. A month after that I find out what kind of cancer and that it is the kind that can be cured (50/50).
Falling down the stairs yesterday was one too. I thought only the old and infirmed did that - I was shocked I did that. I know I walked too much, but chasing Myrtle on the beach with crutches isn't practical. It was a reminder I'm mortal and that when you fall you get back up.
|Family day at Witty's Lagoon|
In the past three months and few days I've cried more than Myrtle, reevaluated what has real value, prayed more faithfully, hugged tighter and say "I love you" more. Which reminds me, I love you. Aside from my love for you, what does this all mean to survive cancer? For starters, many have and had worse cancers and treatments, I'm very, very, very lucky and am very aware how lucky I am. For me to survive cancer is to not live like I'm dying, rather to live like I'm alive. Hold no grudges, be open to friendships and pursue my interests and dreams so my daughter can feel at ease to pursue hers.