Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Finding My Way Through it All

In a little over eight hours I will be on my way to receive my final chemotherapy infusion and will not receive another until, at the soonest, early September. Yes, I am indeed counting the hours until I receive my treatment. And definitely excited about being free of those side effects once I get through this last treatment.

To tell you the truth, right now I'm watching the Boston Celtics absolutely thrilled, spraying one another with champagne as they celebrate their championship victory and I'm soaking up as much of their joy as I possibly can. I love seeing people absolutely thrilled about their victories. It's contagious and I fell like I am celebrating a victory my own.

Many times as I type a blog entry, it's as I type it that I begin to see what I have learned from my experience. And it's been these most recent blog entries that have provided me the opportunity to distinguish what I am truly committed to outside of my #1 commitment which is my family. I'm really excited to transform our current cultural conversation about cancer. How am I going to do it? I don't know and I'm clear I don't need to know right now. Because what's possible for people with cancer, should the cultural conversation become a positive and exciting one, is way too thrilling to not give it everything I have. I'll just put one foot in front of the other and find my way as each opportunity reveals itself. And they always do.

And I've said it bfore and I'll say it again. I'm not talking about "being happy 24/7" because that's not real to me. It's about each time coming back to what I'm committed to and choosing to find the joy in my life right now, regardless of my circumstances, because I will always have circumstances that provide all the proof I need to be miserable. Life is never short of tragedy. "The News" has all the misery and pain you could ever ask for. They'll even give you seconds and you don't even have to behave yourself to get 'em. And I will continue to choose to find the gift in whatever circumstances come my way. And by the way, help me out when you see me losing sight of it all, because I'm still pretty new to the idea and I'm clear I can't do it on my own. I need a lot more practice. And you know, if you didn't read the blog, I would have no reason to write it. I would still write in my journal, but sharing my experience, openly from my heart with you and every one else to see, is what provides me so much peace and inspiration. It wouldn't be available were it not for you. So, thank you.

And it's those blog comments that just warm my heart. I love hearing from you. I have the blog set up to send me an email each time a comment is entered in the blog. And each time I see I have another blog comment email to review, I open up the email like a little kid unwrapping a gift on Christmas morning. And no, it doesn't have to be an inspirational message. I just love hearing from you. It makes this process far easier for me and I thank you for that.

So, I'll go in tomorrow for my chemo treatment and I will come home with the 5-FU pump attached to my port and I will return to the hospital on Friday to have it removed. And then I will find my way through the week or so of side effects that follow. Maybe I'll do a blog entry or two. It's tough to find the energy to do it immediately following the chemotherapy. But I don't want you to think anything is wrong, which often happens when I don't post an entry for a while. And honestly, I really appreciate that. I would want to know you were okay if the tables were turned. So, I'll make sure to get something posted. Minimally, to let you know that I'm okay and simply finding my way through it all.


  1. Hi Bert,
    By the time you open this little "Christmas present" you will have finished part one of that (last in awhile) chemo treatment. I wish you 2+ months of "deliverance" time, once you get past the rocky road of one week post chemo recoup. Please remind us as to when you go in for surgery.
    I was out of town for the past 10 days with my 86 yr old Mom, who is going through some bends in the road. Intrepid warriors come in the form of 86 year olds too. One of my blessings is a role model who happens to be my very own Mum! Well, that's why I haven't been leaving comments this past week+ on your blog, but I've been catching up on your entries and they are profound.

  2. Bert,
    I've been reading regularly since I found your blog a couple of months ago. (Also received a thank you card from your family - thanks!). I find your writing and your thought processes easy to follow and relate to. You are definitely onto something with the cancer conversation. Reading your experiences makes it seem a lot closer to a reality any of us might experience, and really takes us on that journey in a way that makes it less foreign. Also, you give it such a fascinating sense of hidden treasure -- like, if life knocks you off your chosen path, you follow the new path, and no matter how bad it is, if you fully experience it, you WILL find those treasures that you otherwise would never have known.

    Anyway, hope the next few post-chemo days aren't too bad.