Tomorrow is my last internal radiation treatment – 5 out of 5! I feel so overjoyed and lifted. This Monday is my last external radiation treatment, and then I am DONE with radiation for good! It feels amazing. If I have to do more chemotherapy, then I am ready to take it on … because nothing is worse then effing radiation.
As I walked out of treatment today, I realized that I was going to miss my oncology center once I am done. I know, crazy, right?!? I mean, who would miss going to treatments? It’s hard to explain, but unless you have visited Cancer World, you don’t know what it feels like. It’s not the treatments I will miss (trust me, never again), it’s the people and the environment. As I walked down the hall today at least five different staff members stopped me for casual conversation or just say, “Hi Kathy!” with a huge smile on their face. It was like the theme song to ‘Cheers’ singing in my head, “Where everybody knows your naaaaame; and you’re always glad you caaaame.” We talk about their kids, or how they are remodeling their kitchen, or how many days I have left of treatment and how AWESOME that is. Even though it’s a cancer center, there is so much love and positivity in the air it makes me feel so loved and special. Everyone, patients and staff members alike, are all your personal cheerleaders telling you that you can do it, you’re strong and how amazing you are. I feel bubbly and positive every time I come because I know I will be spoiled with affection. Ironically, it’s like nothing bad will ever happen in Cancer World: no one talks about you behind your back, no one says anything mean or hurtful, and everyone just wants the best for each other. Every one loves each other in Cancer World.
Unfortunately, Cancer World is not the Real World. In fact, it’s far from it. Yesterday I went back to work for a few hours, which felt so good! I miss being around my friends and co-workers, and I miss helping people and feeling productive. I was so excited to be back at work that I wrote our my May schedule (I hope I don’t jinx anything!). It felt great to be back to my old life. However, going back to my old life also means going back to old problems. I witnessed somebody being not so nice and having a negative attitude, and it made me so mad, like it always used to. I even let it stress me out, which is not a good thing because I’m still in treatment. But now I have a new attitude and a new me, so things are going to fly a little differently. I reserved myself from speaking out because I didn’t want to get too stressed (I had just come from treatment), but I mentally took notes for what lies ahead in the Real World.
It was the first time I realized I am super sensitive to negativity now, especially coming out of Cancer World. But I do not consider this a bad thing. If anything it means that the old me and people around me were being way too tolerant of negative people! We all just accepted it, and then enabled it because we thought that’s just how things were. I never spoke out against it because I was too afraid of what other people thought.
Well, I just can’t do that anymore. I’m beating my cancer, which is the most joyous thing I have ever felt. I am embracing and loving life, and I want other people find that, too. I want to spread positivity until it’s contagious, because everyone deserves to feel happy and every one deserves to feel loved. No one should have to enter their home or work place and feel uncomfortable or anxiety because of another person’s behavior. This is just unacceptable. I’m not a ding-bat, I know there will always be bad people and evil in this world. I know that I just can’t “change” people. I also know that a lot of negative people are not bad people … they just need hope. What if they were around some one who is happier than they are unhappy, and what would that look like? What would it look like to see a shining light overpowering the darkness?
It’s like when my doctors tell me that attitude is everything. My oncologist even went as far as to tell me that his patients with negative attitudes don’t do nearly as well with treatments or recovery as patients with positive attitudes. I sincerely believe this is true, and it’s just as true in Cancer World as it is in the Real World.
I still have a lot of learning to do. I need to learn how to handle new myself and my new found sensitivity. I’m nervous about leaving Cancer World, and to be honest I’ll be sad when I can’t come back again (and hopefully never will). Despite being nervous about stretching my sea legs, I’m excited for this new chapter in my life. I’m excited to introduce the World to the new me.
A quote I recently read that went something like, “You don’t start living life until you are pushed out of your comfort zone”. I have been pushed so far out of my comfort zone that I don’t even know when to start! What a great quote, and very true.
Well everyone, wish me luck tomorrow on my last internal radiation treatment! And after that, only two more external to go!
Stay happy, healthy and POSITIVE!