Wednesday, February 25, 2015

In between is mine

When you're a drunk like me, or an addict, it's easy for your life to become all about your addiction and recovery. It becomes a calling card.

Same thing happens with cancer. I've seen people who, once diagnosed, carry that as their identifier for the rest of their lives.

Vigilance is a good thing in each scenario. One more drink and my life would be different as I know it. A laissez-faire attitude about post cancer treatment and you could find yourself in a you-sized coffin sooner than need be.

But with my alcoholism and TGB's cancer, I've tried not to let either define the sum of who I, we are. I'm a drunk, I do a meeting and stay in touch with others like me and, when I can, I help others trying to get their shit together. My wife had cancer, we dealt with it and every three months we go through the roller-coaster ride of a check-up and breathe again when we get the all clear. And in between those check-ups we live our lives with gratitude for another stretch of good health. Those in-betweens are what I live for. Those make up the greatest sum of my life because, for me, there is no cancer. There is only here and now and the beauty that is our life.

Sometimes a Stephen King quote just hits the spot.

I don't really have a point. There is no grand revelation. Just that this most recent check-up didn't go so well. No, the cancer isn't back. They're pretty sure. Just some shitty looking dysplasia that has decided to get all agro like a roided up Jersey Shore boy. Surgery and biopsies on the horizon.

One last thing: there is a vaccine for HPV now. HPV causes cervical cancer. Fuck your misgivings about vaccines and get your daughter, and even your sons vaccinated. Because if you don't and your little girl ends up with cancer you're going to ask the most normal of questions: why did this happen? And at least part of that answer will be because of you.