Hard to believe but this time last year the cancer diagnosis was still so new…so raw after only having days to digest the reality of it all. One year ago to the day I was receiving my first round of radiation therapy- the first of many therapies to come. I was unsure at that time if I would be around in a year- that was a tough week but here I am and I am doing pretty well. I had surgery Friday to remove another lung tumor- the surgery went well however the post-op course was a bit rough…suffice it to say I am glad to be home! Next climb is tentatively scheduled for 3.5.16.
Cancer changes things. I knew the moment that I was diagnosed that things would never be the same (and oddly enough it turns out that is ok). I knew there were going to be tough times on the horizon and there have been very difficult days. What I did not expect is the abundance of true caring, empathy, concern and love that I’ve been shown. We often don’t see the ‘good’ in the world and the good that people do. I can tell you firsthand there is a lot of love and positive vibes out there. So what has changed in me with cancer?- for starters I am letting people help and I am ‘allowing’ them to care. I am more humble and more open to the kindness that people want to share- maybe not such a ‘tough guy’ anymore (and that is ok as well).
I’ve been asked a few times this week why am I “putting it all out there”? It might be easier to state what I am not looking to do…my blogs and social media posts are not about me per se; it’s about the fight against lung cancer. I just happen to be the main character in the story. I am looking to get rid of the lung cancer stigma, to raise lung cancer awareness and advocacy and yup- raise money. With regards to raising money part I want all to know that not one penny of the money raised is for me…my request is that any and all donations go directly to the Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA). In no way do I want nor do I intend to make a personal profit off cancer- that I would find distasteful. Not a penny of any dollar raised is for me. Again, I don’t want to make a ‘profit’ off cancer I simply want to contribute to finding a cure and in this I do have a vested interest. Finding a cure costs money and that is the reality. Not everyone raising money in the name of cancer does so for the general good. Look deeply into folks motivations before you donate money and if their efforts seem self-motivated then they probably are…
If someone is thoughtful enough to donate a few of their hard earned dollars then I want everyone with lung cancer to benefit from those dollars and the generosity and kindness from which those dollars came. Peace.