Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New Year, New Approach, New Wardrobe

I’ve adopted a new attitude about cancer and dying. Actually, not a new attitude, but a new approach.

I’ve been pretty open, sometimes even flippant in talking about cancer and dying. I believe that things take on unnecessary gravitas when we speak in whispers or don’t speak about them at all. I went around telling everyone about my cancer and weaving cancer into my conversations if there was any relevance at all. I would casually mention that I might not be around when talking about events ten, twenty years down the line.

But the other day, Tony told me this was a bad attitude. I disagree. My attitude was and is the same. Statistically, my prognosis isn’t good but I know I’m going to beat the statistics. I think I’ll be around for at least another ten years, maybe more, maybe even outlast Tony. At the same time, I’m not living in la-la land. I know that cancer is likely to come back someday and kill me. I don’t want to live in fear of it, so I treat cancer with complete disrespect. I will laugh it off and casually throw out comments about “when I’m dead and gone...”. But I see now that this isn’t necessarily a good approach for people around me.

So I’ve decided to change my approach to cancer. I won’t talk about it so much any more. Frankly, I’m a bit bored with talking about cancer, and I’m sure my friends and family are too. I won’t make flippant remarks about dying. I won’t talk about what will happen at the end. And I won’t put off buying things for myself thinking that I might not be around to use them for very long.

Armed with this new approach and a credit card, I went out this weekend and bought a new bag and a new pair of shoes. I’m going to buy new clothes because my closet’s full of clothes I’ve had for ten years. If I’m going to be around for another ten or twenty years, I might as well look and feel good.

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