Oh I don’t know if I should really be writing or dropping my thoughts on the world this evening. Partly because I am tired and should be going to sleep as I have a fairly hectic day planned tomorrow. Secondly because I feel like I am running out of informative comments about life and coping with cancer (probably just because I am not having to reflect currently on my day and tie it to some more wonderful time of my life to keep my head up). But mostly it is because I have been repeatedly told to “say nothing if you are only going to say mean things” or something to that effect. I will explain this further.
Over the last few days I have been pretty busy, doing house chores which really should be done every year about this time but last year were skipped given my inconveniently timed brush with… well not feeling to hot. So I a feel like I am way behind on those activities which are required to keep a house running smoothly with two wild boys and fall arriving in true colors. I have also tried to keep active which has been doable but tricky with timing. I have more energy than last year and I can get wet (I missed that very much when I had a hickman in and it rained a lot) so I have been running which feels good but leaves me much more sore than I remember in the past. I went for a couple soggy muddy bike rides but had to cut one short the other day because of a rather nasty bout of nausea. Yet, I am still out there and that is awesome in my book given where I am. I even played in a soccer game tonight and wore contact lenses for the first time in 2 years (small victories, small victories).
So really I shouldn’t have much to complain about. Still, some little issues are really irking me. Yes, you hear often that if you have cancer you learn “what really matters” and “to let the little things go” but I don’t always see it that way. The first annoyance was a few days ago i was checking my email and I had been included in a email from the Society for Participatory Medicine. I was sort of intrigued and started reading the thread. I was really disappointed to see that essentially all the mails were about patients complaining about physicians. Now I have said this before I know there are some bad docs out there and that the medical profession is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but the idea that a group can call themselves “participatory” and just sit back and bitch seems a bit confounding to me. Participation in my book means working together toward a common goal. I am sure we could find a multitude of physicians who could give daily examples of poor decision making patients but they aren’t calling themselves a participatory anything and just complaining about peoples lack of interest in their own health. The second irking thought is a close friends recent comments about the minimum wage and guns. Both ideals were severely flawed and showed a complete disregard for other people in the community. The third and final irk was a discussion Brooke and I had about letting Liam walk or bike ride to his Grandma’s or our house on his own. When I was a kid I walked home alone from much farther away than Liam’s school is. Granted it was a smaller town but our neighborhood is one of the most kid friendly in Anchorage and we still don’t feel completely comfortable letting our second grader navigate his way home safely alone. It came down to we felt like the community as a whole just wasn’t as cognizant of others, especially small kids on bikes, as they could be.
These three thoughts brought up one very important thought in my mind. A comment that I heard at Medicine X from a very intuitive medical innovator Josh Nesbit, I do hope I spelled it right, and I am sorry I can’t share his speech as it isn’t on YouTube yet. He said something I found very profound. His definition of community, which was simple, “it is a group of people who care more for each other than they have to.” When I think of this I think how true it is. My community of supporters don’t have to care about me but they continue to do so. We all know some group of people like this. Yet, I really think that these groups could be more inclusive, more open armed to others and not just to those willing to listen to their thoughts or accept their views but are willing to listen to and accept those not in the community already. I think that is what this world needs more of.
I am sure I am not the most open minded guy. I am sure I spend far to much time worrying about what other people around me are doing. I will admit though that I worry mostly about those other people who are clearly not thinking about their actions. I am sure what I am saying will irk some people. I have calculated that in my mind. The calculation though is highly in favor of me voicing my thoughts. No one has to agree or even really care about what I am saying. Yet, maybe if we just for a second thought about others for just a few moments each day or took a moment to step back and look at a wider view we might all just be more understanding. The truth is I can write what ever I want. It might not be as entertaining, or gripping as it was while I struggled with the day to day battle of cancer but I do hope it is still occasionally thought provoking. I should probably just go back to writing stories of my crazy life before cancer. Of course then you would all think I was just crazy. Maybe you already do. Lets all think of each other, no matter how crazy or sane we think someone is.
Head Up, Heart Strong. I need a cure.