There’s danger in complacency/And comfort in the fight. – Jonatha Brooke
Every so often, no matter how “great” you are feeling, there are moments in a survivor’s life when the sheer shit storm of cancer and its after-effects come along and knock you sideways. It’s just part of the deal. I seriously doubt that anyone who has endured cancer is exempt from this reality.
So, last week, quite unexpectedly, I had one of those moments. Fair enough. Old wounds were exposed, raw feelings seeped out. It sucked.
But, as always – as it must be – onward and upward.
Last week’s knife to the heart – while excruciating – reminded me of some essential, but frequently over-looked truths.
I have a world-class sister. In a lot of ways, we are like night and day, but when the shit hits the fan, she is right there at my side, bolstering me up, reassuring me and clearly ready to do battle for me. With her in my corner, I know that I can do anything, and that my strength and resilience know no bounds.
My friends are priceless. They listen to me ramble, and they understand my pain, as unimaginable as it may be. They have insight and humor and compassion. They have walked with me along this meandering and often torturous road back to my life, and demonstrated patience and care and devotion that leaves me speechless.
There is comfort in the fight. Yesterday, on the ninth anniversary of 9/11, I participated in a different kind of vigil, spending a brilliant, cloudless day hiking with a beloved member of my First Descents family. We talked and laughed, but also enjoyed the stillness of the woods around us. We shared medical updates, talked about running and compared notes on our camp experiences this year. I didn’t need to tell him about the emotional upheaval of the last week to feel comforted by his presence, and his implicit understanding of my fight.
So, take that M&$#!@ F!$@^#! cancer. No matter how many times you try to trip me up, no matter how you have disrupted the very essence of who I am and have tried to derail the life I want to have, you are no match for me and my posse of love.