I couldn’t have said it better myself

The other night my brother’s friend Tom (currently kicking Leukemia’s ass with style and grace while helping others along the way- http://goteamtom.org/) sent me a link to a post written by a 28 year old Leukemia survivor:

http://www.wordsworthsharing.com/things-i-wish-i-was-told-when-diagnosed-with-cancer.html

I sat with this piece and read it twice initially and cried both times. I sobbed because it perfectly put my experience into words in a way that I have not been able to summarize myself. From changing relationships to the intense fear of facing my own mortality, this guy covered it all so simply and eloquently. I can’t tell you how many times someone has said: “I can’t even imagine what this is like for you”. If you have ever wondered, please take a minute to read this post.

Here is a little taste-

“You will begin to hear your voice changing. That voice is who you are becoming in the face of mortality. Listen to that voice. It will be the purest, most authentic version of you that you have ever known. Bring that person into the world- strengths and vulnerabilities and everything between. Be that person forever. “-Jeff Tomczek

 

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7 thoughts on “I couldn’t have said it better myself

  1. Tom sent that link to me too, and I think that after I processed all the heavy stuff, the most interesting thing that stuck out to me was this quote: “You will inspire others. It will feel weird.” It’s been almost a year since my diagnosis (10 months, 10 days, about 5 hours, but who’s counting, right?), and honestly, the entire experience still feels surreal. As much and as many horrible experiences I’ve had tied to my various drugs, infections, chemo’s, radiations, and transplant, they all still kind of feel like they happened to a different person. Sure, I’ve stayed positive, written about my experiences, been open and honest about my prognosis, my chances of survival, and so on and so forth, but my family and friends tell me I’m an inspiration to them, and I just kind of shrug and say thanks.

    To me, it comes down to 2 choices. The first is between being happy and positive no matter what the doctors tell you (or getting depressed and unhappy). After the first weekend post diagnosis, I told myself, nah, no more of that. If I’m gonna go out, it’s going to be as happy as I can possibly be. The second choice to me isn’t really a choice at all – either to give up or to keep fighting. And I think I’m entirely too stubborn to ever give up on anything once I’ve started, and life is certainly something I’d like to continue.

    Anyway, I’ve read a bunch of your posts, and as a 28 year old guy going through chemo, radiation, and a stem cell transplant, a lot of it hit home for me too. I hope your levels keep dropping quickly, and that your chemo nightmare can be over soon. 🙂

  2. I also spent a significant amount of time last night reading some of your posts and could certainly relate to much of what you write about (especially the BM entry, HA! I died laughing because after a bowel resection and obstruction, it is the story of my life). I know so few young people facing the same type of obstacles as we are so it is nice to read about others close in age. When I go to chemo I am surrounded by women age 50 or older sitting with their husbands (apparently I’m the only one at chemo alone watching the League on an ipad…I guess I’m an outlier). So anyway, thanks for sharing your experience because it helps me to cope with mine.

    I totally agree with you on the “You will inspire others, it will feel weird” section of the article. I hear it a lot and like you said, all you can really do is shrug and say thanks. It’s not like we’re super human or anything. We’re just doing what we have to do. It’s all about attitude and we have both decided that we have too much shit to do on this earth to leave now. Though I have thought often about my own mortality, I never actually believed that I was going to die (I mean, if I do- joke’s on me, right?). This is a giant curveball and once we kick it, it can only make us stronger and more determined to maximize our existence.

    I will keep reading along and look forward to seeing your progress as well! Please stay in touch 🙂

  3. Silly peanut…it’s exactly your attitude that makes you inspiring. I think a natural reaction to having a friend/family member receive a cancer diagnosis is to think “how in the world would I handle this if it happened to me?” – to go through (on a much smaller scale) some of the feelings you hint at in your blog – feeling angry, overwhelmed, sad. Most of us just stop processing there, because it’s easier to sweep those scary theoretical feeling under the rug. But you…just by being yourself you’ve inspired us. You have the option to just throw yourself on the ground and cry “why me” every day, but you don’t. In the face of something huge and weird and disconcerting, you’re showing bravery, grace, moxie, humor, and honesty. I get that it may be weird to be told that you’re inspiring…but you are, chickie. So just “doing what you have to do”, because that’s where the awesomeness lives. And because I’m completely incapable of ending something seriously, I think you’re also inspiring because ya wicked haht.

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