MY CANCER ADVENTURE – Episode Eight – “What’s Really Important To Me Now?”

MY CANCER ADVENTURE
Episode Eight
“What’s Really Important To Me Now?”

For more than 20 years, I’ve handed out little cards to workshop attendees with sayings and reminders to reinforce ideas worth remembering, and acting upon. A favorite one reads: WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT TO ME NOW?

Of course, that’s an excellent question to regularly ponder. Such a useful exercise, especially when facing adversity or challenges. Imagine if you asked yourself this question (and answered it) EVERY day! So simple, yet so powerful!

And so, with my prostate cancer surgery two days away, I answer …

It is really important to be an excellent patient, and all that goes with it.
(I want to make it as easy as possible for my caregivers.)

It is really important to feel and express gratitude – many, many reasons to do so.
(I’m keeping a gratitude journal – very helpful. More gratitude – less stress!)

It is really important to keep my sense of humor – the best medicine, I’ve heard.

It is really important to have as much fun as possible. Yes. Have some fun!
(Inspired by Randy Pausch – “The Last Lecture.”)

Also …

It is really important to accept the love and support of family and friends.
It is really important to have made the treatment decisions we’re comfortable with.
It is really important to maintain a positive, hopeful, optimistic outlook.
It is really important to have a good idea of what to expect.

It is really important to be prepared.

When I remind myself of these things, I greatly increase the likelihood of positive outcomes. And, I decrease the likelihood of self-pity and petty complaints.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, I have my wife who will be taking care of me. Recovery is going to be, at the very least, hugely inconvenient. I am quite sure that Lynne’s job will be harder than mine, so I’m extra grateful to her. And it is really important to me to recognize this, regularly express my love and gratitude … and strive to keep crankiness to a minimum!

Onward … into the unknown!

The next installment of this blog will be post-surgery. I’ll have some answers, and some groovy pharmaceuticals, I’m sure!

Thank you, and much love to you!

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17 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Colleen Reardon on July 17, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Jerry you are a true inspiration and wonderful role model. Thank you for all you do and may you have a speedy and healthy recovery.

    Colleen Reardon

    Reply

  2. And it is really important that you are expressing such exquisite courage, dear Jerry, in sharing this adventure so that others may discover their own deep courage in facing life’s most compelling challenges.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Tracy (ex margaritas employee on July 17, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Sending good vibes and happy thoughts your way!

    Reply

  4. Posted by Jayne Church on July 17, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Whatever the outcome, dear Jerry, you’ll be fine. So will Lynn. You have much love surrounding and protecting you, including mine.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Kerry Johnson on July 17, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Right on, Jerry! We are right there with you!

    Reply

  6. Posted by yesiamgrateful on July 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Jerry, I am holding the high watch for you and knowing that you are completely healthy on all levels. Thank you for being open, honest, and optimistic through this journey.

    Your lifetime of positivity is serving you well as you face this challenge. I have other friends who are facing similar health challenges and who are also dealing with it positively — and two friends who are not so positive. I encourage you to explore ALL of your thoughts and emotions around your process, and leave no stone unturned, as it is said. Sharing these thoughts and emotions is up to you, of course. The dark side — fear, anger, pain, frustration, apathy, wanting to give up, helplessness, and other not-so-positive states of mind are also part of the journey. Don’t think that people expect you to be positive every moment. You are still human, I am guessing, although you have certainly tried your best to be positive since I have known you.

    I love you. Be well. Be you. You are a beloved expression of God/Goddess/All-There-Is.

    Love and hugs,
    Margaret (aka Marji)

    Reply

  7. Posted by Nancy on July 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Thank you for the courage to live a life of integrity Jerry! You are living in the manner that you teach and inspire others to do so! It is a blessing to be sharing this journey with you! Much love and light to you as you embark this part of your journey!

    Reply

  8. Posted by jewels on July 17, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Dear Jerry,
    Love the mindfulness, all the positive energy is perfect for every cell & atom and your healing. May I share, (as a RN for 20yrs & hospice nurse for 15 years) it’s okay to let others care for you and it is one’s honor to do so. I know some men (not all) have a hard time accepting help and being care for. If I may also share, taking pain medication for a brief time is okay, it allows the body to rest and in that state we heal quickly, then one holding in the pain and being stoic. After years of caring for cancer patients, I truly believe if you can cut it out, do so. I personally do not believe radiation is a good choice, based upon the side effects I have seen and undue suffering it causes. You are in my prayers and sending healing light and love to a very successful outcome.
    xxoox
    jewels

    Reply

  9. Jerry, good luck with your surgery. Many healing vibes and positive thoughts to you. Sheena

    Reply

  10. Posted by Steve Sauve on July 18, 2012 at 2:09 am

    Best of luck to you Jerry. You are in my thoughts. Keep the faith.

    Reply

  11. Posted by Susan on July 18, 2012 at 2:51 am

    Right on, bro! Love & positivity!

    Reply

  12. Posted by Debbie Rosen on July 18, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Jerry – You have been an inspiration to us all and you continue to be, even with this new turn of events. Thank you!

    Reply

  13. Posted by fredda fischman on July 18, 2012 at 11:06 am

    It is also important to be honest and if you feel cranky, or in pain, to express it, so others can help get rid of it….it is important to be human and honest and accepting…you are fallible, though stronger than most…be nice to yourself and you will make those around you feel better too because you are letting them help!! Much love and many prayer, Fredda

    Reply

  14. Sending prayers & good wishes to you both. love. Sue & Ralph

    Reply

  15. Posted by Tom Heany on July 18, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Really important to have a new guitar. Well, maybe not really important, but wouldn’t it be nice.

    Reply

  16. Posted by Paul Trumbull on July 19, 2012 at 12:28 am

    You are such an inspiration to us all. I know you will come thru this with flying colors……Thoughts and prayers are always with you.

    Reply

  17. Posted by Don Bruce on July 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Good luck and prayers to you ! All will be good. ALL !

    Reply

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