“If you don’t die of thirst, there are blessings in the desert.”
Author Anne Lamott/ @
Hail the heaven born Prince of Peace
Hail the Son of righteousness
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n healing in His wings
Christmas carol lyrics of Hark! The Herald Angles Sing
The first time I cried watching TV was during the original Brian’s Song (1971) movie, when Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams) said, “We just got word that Brian Piccolo is – that’s he’s sick, very sick….” I was ten years old and while I didn’t understand the word cancer, I understood the words very sick. Then four years after Brian Piccolo died, my Aunt Marilyn also died of cancer. More tears.
Over the years I’ve shed more tears as I’ve watched friends of mine battle cancer. Now it’s my turn. The cure rate for my type of cancer is high (80-90%), but today I go into the hospital for my second round of chemo and my fifth week of radiation. It’s all been rather surreal—almost like I’m an old school method actor doing research for a role.
I debated whether or not to write anything about it here or not, but decided to do so because I’m going to take about two weeks off from posting. And instead of just reposting some articles, I thought that since views dip during the Holidays that I’d just take my first break in seven years of writing this blog. I’m looking forward to hitting the reset button in more than one way in January.
Spending Christmas day in a hospital is not ideal, but I’m certainly not the first person to do so—and I’m thankful that it’s something I’ve never had to do until now. And on the positive side I imagine it’s a festive, colorful, and even cheerful time to spend in a cancer center. I’m actually looking forward to keeping my writer’s hat on embracing the whole experience this week.
Granted it’s much easier to do when your oncologist is upbeat about your prognosis and treatment, but I’ve met upbeat and positive people in the last month who’ve been told they have less than five years to live. Those people inspire and encourage me. If you’re one of those people, keep telling your story. Because life tends to be like a good drama; we’re either in a crisis, coming out of a crisis, or heading into a crisis. Chances are good that even if you don’t have cancer, there’s something else funky going on in your life that you’d rather not be dealing with.
“People go to the movies when they’re sad.”
Don Draper’s son in a Mad Men episode
Conflict and emotion are two of the drums I often hit on this blog because that’s what drives both movies and life. And I’m on season five of Breaking Bad right now and I think one of the reasons it’s considered by many as one of the greatest TV shows ever is it’s a show full of conflict, emotion and crisis after crisis. Just like the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life—except Breaking Bad has a higher body count.
Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas—
P.S. Countdown to 2000th special post on January 22, 2015—13 posts.