Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.
He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.
Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."
I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.
I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I have a new theme for the day. I’m going to call it “courageous joy.” I’m sure we can all seek out those in our life who model this behavior.
My take on courageous joy would be to look at what you want in life and dive headfirst towards that goal without regard to fear, danger, judgment or failure. When you’re knocking on heaven’s door, you’re going to look back on YOUR life and your accomplishments. It’s all you. Live out loud.
I’m lucky to have led my life, mostly, without fear of judgment, danger, or failure. Okay, not always. I am going to Dartmouth to fail my pulmonary function test today. I hate that test. The results still won’t stop my inevitable transplant.
Some people who I hope will embody and live with courageous joy:
Elizabeth Edwards, who is on my list of heroes, the wife of Jon Edwards, publicly spoke out to the Detroit Press last week. She is a successful, strong woman who advocated her whole life for health care reform. It is unfortunate that she has been publicly embarrassed towards the end of a painful battle with metastasized breast cancer. She’s one of the few people I can look at and think, “Whoa, I’m really glad I’m not her.”
She can have courageous joy. Her legacy will continue. If Sen. John can revive his career, he should spend the rest of his political career attempting to attain the goals of his wife. He should dream, eat, and breathe health care reform.
I would love to speak with him. I promise to play nice. For now, I hope they are focusing on themselves.
As I become more sick, my world begins to shrink. I can focus on my best friends and the community, then my family, then only my son, then only me. The world around me ceases to exist, and I focus only on myself and my health. I am peaceful. I hope Mrs. Edwards will attain the same state of mind, her own courageous joy.
I give kudos to Christina Applegate, too. Fighting breast cancer with a recent double mastectomy, obviously in pain and still coping with her loss, then walking the red carpet next to a sea of flawlessly perky breasts must have been difficult. We better see her on the best dressed lists. She has sympathy, power, and support.
Lance Armstrong has it. The original baldie had it, but I’m hard pressed to find more examples.
I hope we can all resemble this concept in the future. Feel free to nominate those who embody courageous joy in your life. We would all love to hear their stories.
As for me, I’ll “pass” my other pre-transplant testing. The EKG, the chest X-ray, the lab results, and the echo will all be fine. I know why I need these tests. My Doctors have to be aware of my body’s structure, but it’s not going to change my treatment plan. I don’t like the inconvenience, but I’ll enjoy the trip and the people I meet anyway. That’s courageous joy people.