Saturday, August 9, 2008

Live Or Survive

Everything changes when you have cancer. The way you think. The way you look at your family. The way you look at yourself. You came face to face with mortality. The invinciblity you had as a kid, the craziness of your 20's and the live-and-let-die attitude that got you through the day are mere fleeting moments that never seem real. Is it time to live or time to survive?

There's an extremely fine line between living and survival. Do we survive to live another day? Do we live to survive another day? I've never been a soldier at war or been under attack––unless you consider growing-up between two gangs and getting your ass beat every now and then being under attack––but I would imagine you survive to live. cancer messes with your head and makes you figure it out yourself. cancer has no concious.

When I was going through chemo and radiation, there were days I was surviving to live. Fridays. I got the one-two punch on Fridays and by 5PM I was toast. I was in survival mode. I brought out all the survival tactics I could, talking to myself, keeping my mind strong and resting my body. I would remember what John had told me, "there will be days when you think you can't take it any more. Days where you think you can't make it to tomorrow. But you will. You will find it." 

I never met John in person. I got his phone number from my Dad, who got it from a friend of a friend whose Son––John––had head & neck cancer just like me. Talk about a blessing. John's words gave me strength on those days when I would look in the mirror and will myself to feel better. To forget that I'm throwing-up and can't get my ass off the toilet at the same time. To not give in. But you will. You will find it.

And when I was feeling better after the treatments, I was thankful for being alive. For being able to talk to my family with renewed purpose, with a passion to live and see them live with me.

Live or survive? I choose to live.

No comments: