So it turns out, yet again, I’m not dying. I’ve been waiting the last few days to hear from my surgeon because he and his team were comparing some studies of my shoulder to see if the new spots were something to be concerned about or just changes from the radiation I received last year. Having waited on answers like this before, and then not always heard the happiest news, I was trying to prepare myself for the not-so-good. I was wondering if maybe this time really would be the beginning of the end. It didn’t feel dramatic in the moment, it felt real. The normal stressors of life don’t matter so much when you’re dying. They don’t need solved, and you begin to wonder how long you’ll even have to endure them what with the leaving earth and all that is probably so eminent. I begin to think about the purest and best things in my life and how best to suck the marrow from them in the time I have left. Now, like the day I found out my cancer had not spread, I find out I’m not dying at all. I’m quite alive. Which means – I gotta deal.
I still want to find the purest and best things and figure out how to give them the most of my time and energy. But it was easier when I was dying, because I could literally drop anything that wasn’t pure and best. I certainly didn’t have to think about it. Now I have to face every stressor. I have to face my own heart and attitude towards the stressors. I have to go ahead and keep analyzing the crap out of life like I always do – whereas when I was dying I could kind of think – well, I’ll know all the answers soon, there’s no sense trying to figure them out anymore.
I hope I don’t sound ungrateful. I’m exactly the opposite. I’m so happy I’m not dying. And I’m so happy that I know what it’s like to almost be dying. Because I know what it’s like when the stressors really truly don’t matter. Which will surely help me to face them – now that I’m living.
This is a picture from my little sister’s wedding, which was my first big wonderful life event after finding out the first time that I was going to live a while yet. Those happy red dresses will always remind me of that time. In some ways living is harder than dying. But it sure doesn’t feel that way once you realize you get to live.