Good things about Cancer.
This is a post that should have gone out on Monday, but often my last three good days before my next fight are filled with last minute things, spending time with my family and just generally doing anything to keep my mind off the next fight.
Nothing. Gotcha. That’s called click bait. The real title should have been – Enjoy your FR-amily or something…whatever, I got your attention.
Before I get into it, to be clear – THERE IS NOTHING GOOD ABOUT CANCER. Cancer does change your perspective on a lot of things though. Before I cared about making a million bucks, now I care about paying my bills, having enough money to play and relationships.
This weekend was a great weekend because I got to see some of my FR-amily this weekend.
That’s right, family and friends. Friends that are family. Framily. The people in your life that are not related to you, but, you love them like family. Deep.
When I was diagnosed I was waiting until I had some more info before I talked to people about it. I didn’t want to give poor information about my situation until I had some certainty, scope…and acceptance.
Cancer is obv some deep shit. So, before I called my family and framily I wanted to make sure that this wasn’t a scare. That would be a sick joke I hope no one has ever tried. So waited a few weeks, through the first meeting with the surgeon and initial labs/screens…I don’t know how long, maybe it was 2-3 weeks. I just waited, I sat on it.
After meeting with the surgeon and he told me that it’s one of three, all ending with “oma or tumo” (lymphoma, thymoma or germ cell tumor) I finally came to the realization that my health was in danger and things were changing fast. We met with him on Thursday, I contacted every one on Sunday through mostly texts, etc.
I should have waited longer on the radical acceptance part. Calls started coming in, sometimes before I even set my phone down from sending that person a text. The first one that came in was from one of my Framily, my oldest best friend, I was the best man at his wedding – Jon. I hadn’t talked to Jon in a very long time. He had a 16 month old now…I hadn’t talked to my longest best friend since he found out he was going to have a kid, over 2 years.
You my boy Blue!
I know you can all relate. For me, it was the biz. When you own your own business, it sucks so much energy and time away from you. It’s a requirement really. Or maybe it’s a dysfunction.
I think as we go through life we assemble different puzzles that change based on large influencers, like:
Big things that take a lot of time and energy. If you go from dating one person that is really into partying and then you go to dating someone that doesn’t, your going to lose some friends in the process. Not because you want to per se, but because your puzzle has changed. When I was in the fight game I had friends that I don’t talk to now, not because I didn’t like them, but just because life gets in the way.
We miss those people, but because our puzzle changes and we only have so much time and energy to devote into life, sometimes those people fall off our radar.
So I reached out to a lot of people that day. Most of them were immediate family, some of them were framily. I tried to talk to people on the phone, but every time someone called me and I would start talking to them…I would cry. Like little kid cry.
Snot running out of my nose.
Not able to talk…cry.
I would give the phone to Jamie and she would talk to them.
After that initial phone call...
Plans were made to see each other again.
Plans were made to see more of my family.
Plans were made to help me get through this.
Cancer changes your perspective on things. It forces you to refocus. Before cancer I wanted to make a million dollar gym biz, now I want to develop relationships and memories.
My dad said this to me when I was talking to him on the phone the other. I don't think he knows he stole it!
Back to the weekend – this weekend was a fantastic weekend because of my framily. It wasn’t like we did anything crazy like go to Vegas, we hung out, drank some beers (don’t tell my oncology team!), had great meals, stayed up late and just generally…..almost…..forgot about things. We showed up with bands and gifts for everyone!
Saturday we went on a hike (I am going to talk about that in an upcoming blog post) and then just really chilled out. My friend Kristin made an awesome Turkey Dinner - stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes, roasted veggies and gravy. It was one of the most amazing dinners I have had this year.
I made Sunday breakfast for everyone. Jamie and I generally eat two large meals on Sunday – breakfast and dinner. Breakfast usually consisted of LOTS of bacon, eggs, toast, home fries and maybe some kind of a sweet or something. It was the meal I looked forward to for the whole week because I got to cook it for my love, we got to eat together as a family and it just tasted so damn good!!!
We haven’t had a Sunday breakfast in well over 2 months. I cut bacon out of my diet because Jamie asked me too and since I only have two good weekends out of the month and they are usually spent with family or busy, we just didn’t do it. Does bacon cause cancer? Maybe...maybe not, but smoking meats does cause carcinogens - cancer causing agents.
But we did it this weekend!!! It was so great to be able to cook for everyone and enjoy a Sunday breakfast.
Yeah...that's pie. We didn't eat it for break fast...well....we didn't eat a lot of it for breakfast. Sometimes I like to have pie for my breakfast. Nothing wrong with that!
I felt great on Sunday and Today (Monday)! Even though my sleep sucks when I move into my good days. I generally only get about 5 hours of sleep when I feel good. We stayed up until 2 AM on Saturday night and woke up at 7 AM on Sunday, today (Monday) I was up at 4 AM. For someone that is a sleep Nazi, to feel great after two nights like that says something about how great my framily made me feel.
Physically this is how I felt, but emotionally I felt awesome!
It made me realize how much I wanted to keep this new part of my life going after I KICK THE SHIT OUT OF CANCER. I was recently interviewed for our local paper. I told them that there were three people you become as you progress through cancer – the person before, the person in treatment and the person after.
This is what I got to come home too - the article with me, a card and a cup from a member and a note from a member telling us how awesome KDR is and how she is in the best shape of her life because of us. I love my gym
I don’t know who I will be after. I plan on continuing this blog and maybe/hopefully turning it into a lucrative book deal so that I can enjoy more time with my family and framily. The person I was before valued money as the top three, the person I will be after will still value money, but only so far as it allows me to develop relationships.
Don’t wait until you have a life-threatening condition to reach out to your framily and tell them how much you care about them. Do it right now. Even if it’s a simple message like my old college room mate sent me just saying – “Hey, life got in the way, but I wanted to reach out and say I was thinking of you.”
We are the sum of our experiences and those experiences, more often then not, are shaped by wonderful people that come in and sometimes out of our lives. Don’t let those wonderful people go with out telling them how much they mean to you.