From a daily prompt on Gratitude, I typically end my share in 12-Step meetings with something like “I have no problems or complaints today that are not of my own making.” I have tried to live my recovery with a glass is half-full approach and have generally been successful. I am grateful that this attitude has continued with my cancer diagnosis. I discussed that my initial thinking with the diagnosis was that my last 30 years would not have been possible were it not for recovery. That thought prevails today. Had I not checked into a detox unit on August 4, 1984, I doubt that I would be alive today, 33 years later, to receive the cancer diagnosis – nor would I have experienced my wonderful life for the past three decades.
This past Sunday I walked to church for the first time since my bike wreck last May. I was grateful and look forward to returning to my Sunday morning strolls in the weeks ahead. Here is a short video I made about all that.
I got good news from my oncologist this week. My “quality life” is upped to 2-3 years and possibly longer from the original 3-6 months. Also, this coming Thursday I will begin physical rehab on my fractured clavicle that has been a source of pain since my May bike wreck.
I am grateful to continue mentoring students and young professionals in my field – in fact, logistically, these are activities that will be ideal in the coming months when my mobility and ability to travel will likely be restricted. The same is true for my work with Peruvian cultural heritage projects.
In a book study I am doing one of the prompts was to provide five responses to “If I had more time I would . . . ” I have thought long and hard about this challenge. The only thing I can come up with is that I always wanted to ride my bicycle from Lake Itasca in Minnesota down the Great River Road to New Orleans. Even before the cancer diagnosis, I began to question if I was physically up for it and willing to commit the six-weeks or so the ride might take. But I realize even now, if I want to do the ride bad enough, I can.
As I noted in the first post about cancer, were it not for my three decades of 12-step recovery, principally through Alcoholics Anonymous, I would be considerably less prepared for the future. I emphatically maintain that CANCER SUCKS, but I remain grateful for my many communities of support that provide me with the experience, strength, and hope for an attitude of gratitude today.