I just completed two surgeries and 30 treatments of radiation for a very rare sinus cancer. I was super lucky. I have all my body parts, my face is a bit crispy at the moment, but it’s in-tact. I am so thankful for the doctors and nurses at UTSW. They are amazing. But, this journey is different for everyone and no one experiences it the same.
Here’s a few things I learned:
- Cancer sucks. It impacts just about everyone at some point in their lives either directly or indirectly. It doesn’t discriminate. White, Black, Hispanic, rich, poor, young, old, whatever. It doesn’t matter.
- How your show up matters the most. In my experiences watching people go through this there’s a tremendous difference in the victim, the passenger or the warrior. The victim complains, the passenger takes what comes without comment and the warrior takes command. I think everyone is different. I started out in the passenger camp and ended up in the warrior camp. Again, I’m lucky so it’s easier for me to be that way.
- Some of your “friends” are faking it. This one really sucks to write, but it’s true. Some of your so called friends really don’t care. I see this as a great opportunity to learn who those are and pull some weeds. I had one guy (a customer posing as a friend) ask if I had a autopsy done yet. I told him I wasn’t dead yet but yes, I had pathology done and the result was malignant. He answers, “Hey where’s that report your promised.” You don’t need fakers in your life.
- Treatment is incredibly draining. I didn’t do chemo, but I see the results of radiation. I am exhausted. I’ve never NOT been able to do something because I was too tired. If someone is going through this, give them some space.
- Every case is different. I feel like these doctors are chasing ants and killing them one at a time, and each ant behaves differently, eats different stuff, looks different, etc. It’s literally impossible to get all the different varieties. For anyone who has looked at this disease, the variations are so endless, I have no idea how we can beat it until we find the core issues causing it. I have no idea what that is, but I plan to support organizations that have an idea where to start.
Last but not least is the biggest one. I saw a tumor in my head that looked huge. It’s now gone. But consider this.
You are only here today because God decided for you to be. You could have stepped off a step wrong, pulled into the wrong lane on the freeway, choked on your food, had a heart attack, been murdered, ANYTHING. The odds are truly against us having a pain free and suffering free life.
The real question is “What are you going to do with TODAY?” It’s a gift, you are only here because God wants you here.Charlie Alsmiller
Look I’m no religious bigot or crazy bible beater, I get it. I am friends with non-believers and I can see how they got to where they got. But, in THIS experience, God was EVERYWHERE. The nurses, the hospital, the doctors, the community, my family, my body. It’s impossible to ignore.
So my parting thought here is this.
What are you going to do with tomorrow? What are you holding back on doing? Who are you holding back on loving? What thing can you do that makes an impact? Tomorrow might be the day that you end up with an Avocado in your head, like me.
Contact me anytime, I am going to go back to my normal posts of talking about software, marketing, self awareness and the like too but one thing is sure. I am different and tomorrow will be different because God has given me a cancer free future.
Love to you all.