Since I have some alone-time; just me and the cats, I thought I'd try to write my next column a few weeks ahead and take a bit of the time-sensitive deadline pressure off. Not that meeting my weekly commitment has been too much of a problem over the years (nearly 20 in fact), still, I thought I'd put pen to paper, literally, and see what comes out.
Having been a cancer "diagnosee" now for eight years and exactly three months - as I sit and type on May 27, 2017, a lifetime considering the original "13 month to two-year" prognosis I was given on February 27, 2009, I have learned much about cancer that I didn't know. In fact, I've learned everything about cancer I know now because previously I knew nothing. Growing up I heard/experienced very little about cancer. My parents were healthy as was my immediate family (aunts, uncles, cousins).
After being diagnosed with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer (ALK positive), my perspective on life has completely changed. As a young mom with no smoking history, this diagnosis was a complete shock for me and my family. Today we try to enjoy every day we have together and are thankful for our blessings. We are trying to be as normal as we can with our family, stay positive, and continue to put our faith in God to help us through this hurdle.
Not that I need a pound bag of M&Ms to weigh 16 actual ounces (it's now down to 10.70 oz.) or a half gallon of ice cream to weigh 64 ounces (rather than the 48 oz. it currently is) or the "family" size bag of Utz potato chips to measure more than its current/meager/non-typical-family size of 9.5 ounces (down from 14 oz. that I remember), nevertheless I do need to feel the love, and right now I don't.
When I think about being diagnosed with lung cancer, I don't think, why me. I might think, why not me, but I definitely think, now what. The idea/strategy being: moving forward, not recriminating or regretting backward. As Popeye the Sailor Man so often said: "I y'am what I y'am." Although I doubt he was talking about having lung cancer. How could he? He ate all that spinach, canned though it was. Besides, he's a cartoon character.
The onslaught of radio and television advertising for grass seed and riding mowers. I suppose if I was a responsible homeowner, given the time of the year: Spring/April, I might have an interest in such timely offerings. However, since I'm not and since I'm still unable to manage the two acres that I own, affectionately referred to as "Belly Acres," going on 25 years dating back to May '92 when we initially took ownership, the best I can do is borrow my neighbor's riding mower and spend a couple of hours every two weeks or so trying to keep the grass below my knees.
I wouldn't say I'm forgetting things, but according to my wife, Dina, I certainly don't seem to be remembering them, at least as she does.
Naturally, this "misremembering" could be attributed to the condition which likely affects many couples who have been over hill, over dale and over many dusty trails in nearly 39 years of marriage, as we have. Nevertheless, identifying the condition doesn't soothe the savage beast. Another possible/probable explanation is the ever-unpopular, recently-confirmed actual occurrence common many cancer patients receiving chemotherapy: "chemo brain."