Making Plans After Cancer
The other day, I had a long talk with one of my dearest friends who is nearing the end of her seemingly interminable year of treatment for (a different kind of) f-bomb cancer. Our conversation centered around the topic of life after cancer treatment, specifically the difficulty of making plans.
We both feel/felt similarly at the end of treatment. Neither of us wanted to make plans because we didn’t know if we could. Six months sounded like an eternity. Literally.
It may sound melodramatic to those who have not had cancer, but to many of you who have had the disease, you know exactly what I mean.
See, here’s the thing: when your body dupes you in such a humongous way by getting cancer in the first place, a naturally-occuring and quite reasonable bodily distrust is established. I know all too well that lightening can indeed strike twice. Yes, I just said that. Not very Silver Lining of me, you assume. Well, on the contrary. This philosophy is actually practical — and motivating!
I am now (highly!) motivated to fill my days with as much living as possible, respectfully acknowledging the fact that an earth rocking event could be lurking behind every corner, from a fire to a diagnosis. I am packing it all in, full tilt ahead. One of the things that I have to remember, however, is to pace myself. This is an ongoing challenge for me, but that in and of itself is a Silver Lining.
I am also now (highly!) motivated to do everything that I can possibly do to decrease my risk of a recurrence from eating a healthy diet, to reducing stress to removing should-ing from your life. Now there’s a Silver Lining!
When it comes to making plans, the further I am from my diagnosis date, the more confident I feel about making plans. Logistically, I really don’t plan much further than six months out. Philosophically, I know that plans can change in an instant. This feels like a balanced way for me to live.