Friday, May 13, 2011

With Eyes Wide Open

I recently got back in touch with a great friend who moved out of the country. We’ve never talked on the phone much before, for the circular reasoning that we never talk on the phone much. Neither wished to call, we’d simply text. But this time, I’m glad we didn’t.

Of course, he no longer has the ability to text, not using a real cell phone number to call. But since we talked for 15 minutes the day before, he thought he’d call again so we could talk.

I had just told him that I’m going through something. We aren’t sure what’s going on, but something certainly is. I might get another dance with death, or it could just be tonsillitis. No one really knows yet. Nevertheless, he was worried and wanted to talk to me about it.

We spoke for a long while, discussing the possibilities, and the concept of death. I told him how to me, to live or die isn’t really the object. When you make it your goal to stay alive, you’ll eventually lose, and you have that fear of losing until it happens. My goal is just to fight. No matter what happens, I’m going to fight. My dance with Death left me with a scar. I vowed then that before it takes me, I’ll leave give death itself a scar to match.

This reassured him, as he was worried about how I was handling the possibilities of my ailment. It was then that I heard something I’d never thought I’d hear before. This is a man I’ve grown close to over the years. A man I’ve trusted, and at times looked up to. But we’ve never spoken the words. There was a mutual understanding of how we felt, a look in the eye or a nod, but never touched on it. We were always too busy laughing and having fun.

This day was different. I knew we were close, I knew we cared for one another like brothers. But to hear the words, to hear him say I’m the same as family, that I mean so much to him, I can’t die, if anything bad happens, he’s on the next flight back to see me. I’m his best friend, and he can’t lose me.

It was eye-opening. I never thought hearing those words would mean so much. I realized just how many lives I’ve touched, and how many people were backing me up, cheering me on. I realized just what my life is worth.

We really don’t say such personal things as often as we should. We’re afraid of revealing our soul to people, because it makes us vulnerable. But imagine, if just one person reveals how they truly feel, and it can rekindle the flame, making a cancer survivor fight for their life with renewed vigor, just imagine what more people can do.

Reach out and touch someone. I’m not saying we all need to act nice and tell complete strangers that we care about them, and start spewing religious claptrap everywhere. But if you’ve got someone close to you, someone you truly care about, even if you assume that they know (and they very well might), make sure they know how you feel. Truth paves roads that were never before accessible. Not only can it give someone else a well-needed boost, it just might reveal something to you that you never once before realized.

Open your eyes, and the eyes of another.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Ironing out the Irony

First and foremost, I've realized there's something I need to announce to you all. I've continuously had worried readers concerned about my health after reading my posts. To put this commotion to rest (not to say I don't enjoy your feedback, I really do), until further notice, any update tagged #DancingWithDeath is looking back at the past during my battle with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Everything else is dealing with the present.

Second, ironically, I am trying to spread the word about what exactly went on with my battle against cancer, to make others aware of just what it is people go through during such a trial. And yet this unknown ailment I am currently facing is keeping me too tired to write about the past. Strange how that works. Lucky for me (and for you!) I've hit a turning point and I've regained much of my lost energy, so we're back in business! Thank you all for your patience as I deal with whatever this is I'm dealing with.