My new, yet temporary job editing the local news rag, has been a huge distraction from keeping up tales of the deluded girl. But something bigger has been brewing and I hope it will motivate me to get back to communicating with the two or three of you who still tune in once in a while.
When ovarian cancer returned last October I figured it was time to get my affairs in order. Well, not really “affairs” but you know what I mean. I dumped my Jackson doc and found an energetic determined young woman oncologist right here in town who promised me I would live to be 70 – that’s all I was going for at the moment.
She started a new revolutionary treatment protocol which not only didn’t cause many side effects but actually seemed strangely energizing. Yesterday I went for the dreaded Pet scan which lit up like a Christmas tree in October with pockets of cancer in lymph nodes, liver, you name it. Yesterday, the scan was a dull as a rusty nail. No cancer. Anywhere.
I know I was lucky but more than that I know I had a lot of people praying for me and I think that made all the difference. But here’s the lesson in all this. I am not going to sit in my chair watching life go by while Netflix drones away on the tube. Those days are over.
I am going to get out there and shake things up, acting as weird as I please. I no longer care what anyone thinks of me and I will be wearing my UGGS with my shorts come summer because I still won’t be able to have foot surgery until chemo drugs are gone. I am going to try new things and take risks. Editing the newspaper was the first big risk and I fell on my face several times before figuring it out. Then, I’m taking the train to New Orleans with my boys and we will visit our old haunts and eat the world’s best cuisine and sleep on the river walk if we can find a cop to join us. Then, Marie and I are hiking the Appalachian trail. We’re taking applications for fellow hikers, but you must exhibit a degree of craziness.
Cancer taught me that life isn’t about playing it safe,living out our days on auto-pilot and standing still in one spot for fear of making the wrong move. It’s about experimenting, failing, succeeding, and then trying something else. It’s about not being at war with ourselves and wishing things were other than they are. It’s about small steps toward our ever-changing dreams and getting out of our heads and into our hearts. It’s about living from the soul and abandoning the façade.
We only get one shot and I’m ashamed I wasted most of mine being too timid to really live out loud. Okay, so who wants to join me in seeing how outrageously we can be completely stupid and deliriously happy? It’s going to be a wild ride.