Retrospective Reminiscing – Living with Lymphoma Week 105

Time Rockets On

Time Rockets On

It’s that moment you realize March has rolled around again. For you it may bring thoughts of spring flowers or warm weather to get outside. Maybe you’re Irish or you just take your Shakespeare way too seriously.

For me, it has a little more meaning. It’s the second anniversary of Living with Lymphoma.

The days would have slipped on by had it not been for a back-burner project I’ve been working on. I’ve debated for two years now about whether or not to share these experiences in greater detail. I go back and forth between “Move On” and “Time has brought deeper Perspective.” The latter is winning out, so I’ve been toying with structural and format ideas when my fiction meter hits redline.

I was working on some notes when a date flashed past. March 11, 2014. Two years to the day of writing about my first trip to Boston for the consult with the ENT specialist there. It was Week 2, now one-hundred and four weeks ago. The coincidence caught me off guard. One minute I was working late, engrossed in notes with the back of my mind thinking about prep for walking one of the foster dogs in a parade tomorrow, the next I realized the real milestone passed last Friday without a peep.

Taking notes on how naive the Lovely Bride and I were about what was happening makes me laugh. There were so many lessons we knew, and so many new ones we were forced to learn. I was scared, but couldn’t admit it yet. I’m still terrified two years later. The calendar for the next twenty years is full, but none of that matters if I don’t make it that far. My bi-annual scan is just a few weeks away and my stress levels are already rising.

But the decision to of whether or not to share these deeper thoughts, to go back and re-live all of this for the sake of digging up the gold buried there, has been a tough one. My first thought is always: Who Cares? The truth is, very few people. Fine. Good. So I won’t bother. But what about the people who do care? What about the person sitting in the examination room who has just gotten the news? I feel like I owe it to them to add my story to the overall narrative. “Ego!” you shout, “This is just about your ego.” No, I learned that from the last one. This is just about one person’s story. I don’t expect it to be something people are talking about on Good Morning America. I just want to reach the few people who need it.

If I can just reach those few people who chuckle at the dumb mistakes we made, or who identify with the shock and that fateful train ride home. Alone. They are why I’ve decided to make this happen.

My hope is always that my story will ease the fear and stress for others. It has in the past, and I hope this little back-burner project will do the same. I seem to always end up representing the “Go Big, or Go Home” crowd when it comes to my adventures, whether I set out to do so or not. So be it. Life can keep dropping this shit in my lap, and I’ll keep telling the story – one week at a time.

3 Responses to Retrospective Reminiscing – Living with Lymphoma Week 105

  1. Pat Rouzer March 15, 2016 at 11:04 am #

    Bravo, Chris! I’m sure you don’t see it this way, but the courage with which you faced your cancer and what you learned in the process can’t help but aid people who are now where you were two years ago. Glad you decided to share your experiences…no one should have to face something this serious alone.

  2. Anonymous March 31, 2016 at 8:11 pm #

    Chris, Some of us care, even if we are geographically separated and don’t see you frequently anymore!

    • cmichaelmiller March 31, 2016 at 8:23 pm #

      Thanks! And I’m not suggesting people aren’t supportive – just that the decision and audience for the story are different now than they were when it was all happening live. I think the deeper truths I discovered about myself along the way will be helpful to others. It’s really been interesting as I go back and compare how much my attitude towards life changed after having cancer than it did from the brain tumor. So little really changed about me after brain surgery, but I know my time in the world is shorter now after the cancer – and my world has shifted because of it.

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