It's Saturday morning, I just woke up and looked at Tracey while she was sleeping and I smiled.
Then I became conscious of the fact I was smiling and that made me smile.
I smiled again because I realized I was happy. And for the last three weeks I haven't always been happy. These have been three of the toughest weeks in a while and it all started with that darn phone call that I talked about in my Good Bad News post.
I am forever surprised/reminded that this ordeal is 99% psychological. Of course there are physical challenges, you've heard me discuss them ad nauseam, but even with these challenges it is how you approach it that determines how much you allow it to impact you. It's mind over matter or internal mental warfare.
I think if I hadn't been knocked off my game I would have handled the last three weeks differently. I would have just dealt with all the elements in a more positive manner. But instead, everything that came into my sphere was allowed to be dark. Let me give a quick rundown of the things that came my way so you can have an understanding.
After I heard the actual good bad news I allowed myself to see that there was a downward slide. Then the hard part of the treatment started kicking in and it seemed to be harder than usual (mouth sores, bloodier stools, super sore joints - which I now attribute to a flu virus which hit me later), I received a text that a 29 year old friend that was also battling cancer had passed away in her sleep, then I thought I was texting Dan Evans when in fact I had texted a friend that had passed away from cancer 3 years ago (I had dropped my phone in the toilet earlier in the week and since I hadn't backed it up I had to guess which Dan - I guessed wrong), then for the last four days I have been in bed with a serious fever (yup, that virus I was telling you about). Anyways, I am rambling with run on sentences so I think I will stop there as I think you get the point.
It seems I was being reminded at every turn that I had cancer. That cancer was surrounding me. And it became a bit overwhelming.
On Thursday night I was scheduled as the keynote speaker for a group called DCS. It was great honour and I was booked four months ago so I was not going to cancel even though I had just spent the full day in bed. I made a conscious decision that I was done with the pity party again and I was going to go be a positive force for this room of 150 people. As it turns out, all these great people brought me out of my funk. I ended the presentation with a soliloquy on dealing with cancer. It was cathartic and it burst me out of my darkness. Simply by talking out loud I was able to find myself and get centred.
I do get energy from people and I guess I like the attention of being on stage...who knew.
It reminded me that perspective is relevant. How you choose to look at the situation actually determines what the situation is. If you see an insurmountable wall, then you will continue to run in to a wall. But if you visualize being on the other side of the wall you will see that there is a loose brick or maybe even a door and an opening to another opportunity.
Today has the potential to be a tough day as I am going to Stephanie's Ceremony of Life. This could be very sad, and for many I am sure it will be. But for me, I am going to honour her life by not being sad, but instead I am going to happily remember her smile, her humour and her beautiful soul. She would want it this way, and when I am in the light, I want this happiness to surround me as well.
I love you Stephanie, you will be missed, but not forgotten.