Cancer: The Bigger Picture

cancerThis is a subject that is just hard to approach. I will begin with some truths in my life right now. I have 3 family members who have or had cancer. I have 2 close friends who have or had cancer. I know there comes a time when we start thinking about our mortality but when you feel that the people who are close to you are dying, it puts a whole new perspective on life.

Last week I laid in bed staring at the ceiling thinking about death. I haven’t done this since I was a kid in the mid 80’s thinking about who was going to push the button and start World War 3. I thought about how I have very little control in my life. At any point a meteor can come down from the heavens and lay waste. Maybe some nut in North Korea is going to do something dumb and start a war that the human race cannot afford. While those are scary options, they pale in comparison to Cancer.

Thinking about all the people who just recently passed from some sort of cancer makes me rethink everything. It makes me wonder what I’m really doing in this life. This is not to sound morbid at all its just that I am forced to look at the bigger picture. What do I really control in my life? I complained about the absurdity of getting a Flu Shot. These are one of those things that I just do not trust. Who really knows what they put in shots to people and yet, I had to get one so that I could visit a relative who has a weakened immune system. I gladly took that shot because I needed to make that visit.

I realize that there is an inner part of me that is angry. This is not one of those things where I’m angry at God or at anyone in particular, it’s this thing where I realize that I control nothing. In the grand scheme of it all we are just particles of dust in the universe and we are squabbling over labels and identities. In a blink of an eye we could be taking a very long sleep in which we hope to wake up on the other side.

I came back to NYC to be with family and I feel that I am beginning to lose them just as quickly. This whole pageantry of returning to New York City seems to be so self serving. I need to evolve again to a person that sees more of the bigger picture. This is not to say that I still don’t see the world in the same way, but I also need to understand that maybe we are all just too damn sensitive. Maybe, I am too sensitive.

I wrote a public apology the other day to a person that I slighted because I was so angry with someone else. I was angry because something was done to me that I thought I could not forgive. Why? Because my writing is something that I feel I control. But, with anger comes stupidity. So now, I have to live with what I have done. Perhaps I should not have been so angry and pig headed not see that I am not angry with the person who copied my work. I am angry at the fact that I feel that I don’t do enough in the time that I have.

People will argue with me and say that I have effected the lives of many people. Perhaps I have, but I feel that I’ve not been there enough for my own family and friends. It is not easy getting older knowing that there will be a time when the receptions I will be attending will be funerals. I’m not ready for that. That is why I need to refocus and try to be with the people who matter the most.

Of course, I cannot help but wonder about what Cancer has in store for me. Truth be told I give myself testicular exams 3 times a week. I know I have a colonoscopy somewhere in my future. I have been doing my best to exercise because it is Diabetes that has effected my family the most.

I’m not worried about dying so much anymore. I’m worried about whether I can make enough of an impression on this world before I go. I’m worried if I can make an impression on my family before they go.

This Cancer thing has a really funny way of changing perspectives.

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