Sat., May 1 was the day of the Bay Area Brain Tumor Walk, so I started my month-long “fast” on Sun., May 2.
I had set clear ground rules:
- I was allowed to talk to medical professionals about brain cancer and my health. This included attending the May session of the local brain tumor support group.
- If I was asked directly by friends or co-workers about how I was doing I could respond politely and then redirect the conversation to another topic.
- While I was trying to limit my brain cancer conversation with others, Brett didn’t count.
You may be wondering if I was successful. And the answer is… yes, but it was hard at first.
When I first made the switch I would catch myself talking about my oncologist, or a blood draw, or chemo. There were people who knew I had this bet going with myself about not talking about cancer, and I’d find myself saying things like, “Well… I can’t talk about something in particular, but you know what it is…” and then continue a conversation without saying the word. That was cheating.
There were other times when I didn’t say anything about cancer, but if Brett was with me I would say, “Brett–you tell them.” This was also cheating–but entertaining.
As May wore on I became busier with work, wedding planning, and more work, and then a fantastic Memorial Day weekend with my best friend… you know, normal stuff.
And guess what? I stopped thinking so much about cancer because I was living my life.
This might seem like a bizarre concept when you don’t have cancer, but at some point–when you have abnormal cells in your body that won’t go away completely–you have to realize that you need to go back to your life–your new normal life–and live with cancer.
This doesn’t mean I am going to stop researching, learning, or investigating cancer. This doesn’t mean I am going to start eating fast food and stop walking. This doesn’t mean I am going to turn away from my current, anti-cancer lifestyle. This just means that all of that is truly a part of me now.