When this journey started, my friend Larry and others on similar journeys said there would be peaks and valleys. They encouraged me to stay strong in the face of the ups and downs of the treatments. I can honestly say that there have been far more good days than bad days. Having said that, the day I received the diagnosis was way “down there.” My sister Colleen reminded me of the expression, “God only gives us what we can handle.” With my diagnosis, apparently God thinks I’m a real bad dude.
As I’ve posted the blogs, among the responses I’ve received are questions about what I do to stay positive. In the face of all that’s going on, I keep my faith, have hope and I’ve kept my sense of humor.
To stay positive, I remind myself that in daily interactions, I get back what I give. If you ask how I’m doing and I respond, “Well, not all that great and I can only take one day at a time,” you might just be joining the pity party and that wouldn’t be good. If I respond with, “I’m doing good and every day is a blessing,” you might get a good vibe and give me a jelly donut (future blog) and wouldn’t that be great.
My faith foundation comes from eight years of being influenced by the Sisters of Saint Francis. The fact that my good friend Dale and I successfully completed all eight years consecutively should give anyone hope. Grade school was followed by two years of studying with the Capuchin Fathers and Brothers at St. Lawrence Seminary. I experienced many faith-forming opportunities and grew from each experience.
My sense of humor comes from my mother, who held both indoor and outdoor records for sense of humor. She made more humorous comments while she was in hospice than I could fit into several blogs.
Well, all of this reflection reminds me of my first Edgar Guest poem. It has been the only poem of his that I actually memorized. I like to think of it in terms of, No Regrets! Remember, no regrets.
I have to live with myself, and so
I want to be fit for myself to know,
I want to be able, as days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don’t want to stand, with the setting sun,
And hate myself for things of done.
I don’t want to keep on a closet shelf
A lot of secrets about myself,
And fool myself, as I come and go,
Into thinking that nobody else will know
The kind of a man that I really am;
I don’t want to dress myself in a sham.
I want to go out with my head erect,
I want to deserve all men’s (and women’s) respect;
But here in the struggle for fame and pelf
I want to be able to like myself.
I don’t want to look at myself and know
That I’m bluster and bluff and empty show.
I can never hide myself from me;
I see what others may never see;
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself and know
Whatever happens, I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience free.
It would be rather self-serving to say that I’ve reached more than a few of these lofty goals. I’ve certainly missed the mark a few times but I’ve had the good fortune to know many of you who have aspired to being this person.
UPDATE – Infusion yesterday was the most efficient to date. I had a big lunch after the infusion and still no negative effects. I went to the Kiwanis meeting this morning and I’m still feeling good. Also, each day since returning from “the trip,” I’ve laughed out loud when remembering something that was said or something that happened. Plan your “siblings trip” soon.