Friday, February 27, 2009

Some Real Honesty

It's not uncommon for people who have had cancer or something of the like to say, "My life will never be the same. I can see things so much more clearly now" or "I have a whole new appreciation for each day." Well, I recently heard someone say in response, that comments such as those "leave the rest of us to feel like we're shallow in comparison." I thought that was great to hear. Some real honesty that gave me an opportunity to reflect upon.

I don't want to be on a pedestal as a result my insights born of my diagnosis nor do I believe others who have not had a similar experience are more shallow than I am. What's so for me is that the insights I have received as a result of my experience have only provided me personal development or growth in the areas of life where I had the space for growth. In other words, where I needed it and in many areas still do.

For all I know, you may already have learned those lessons in life. Or maybe you haven't. But again, where I have grown as a person is where I've needed it, or to be more precise, where I am committed to growing. We're all in this together. And thank goodness. Your comments, emails, cards, calls and visits have provided me more strength than you know. I can't imagine having done it without you. Really.


  1. Bert,
    Our strength comes from within, and each of us has it although it may not have presented itself as yet! When provided with the right situation that inner beast kicks in to help.You've got quite the beast within you! What's truly uncommon is to find someone with the honesty to share their experiences as you have here. It's EXTREMELY admirable that you have given so much inspiration to so many...Myself included! Thank You...
    Love & positivity,

  2. Bert,

    I loved this post. I often find myself trying to measure up to other people who handled their cancer "graciously" or "with real aplomb" whatever that means, or who "always had the best attitude" or who "kept up with all their usual activities".

    I was none of those things. I certainly found room for improvement in myself and my family relationships during this cancer, and I totally changed my work life after the first cancer, but I often whine and cry and complain about having had cancer. Not all the time, but often enough to not feel like I measured up to those who seem more gracious or brave or whatever.

    But none of us "do" cancer alike; we all have our own journey and different needs come up at different times. We should not be held up on pedestals, nor should we hold anyone else up on pedestals and find ourselves lacking in comparison to them. Ultimately, we will all do the best we can, but we can only do what we can do, nothing more, and that is enough.