Today, I had an epiphany.
Until recently the approach I have taken with my cancers has been to give up on this year and focus on the next 20 years. I am not looking at the possibility that I won’t make it. I am betting with certainty that I will conquer the cancers with God’s grace. And this focus has served me well. Except that everyday I am beginning to realize that I am not “giving up on this year” at all. On the contrary, I have gained so much since I got the diagnosis, exactly two months ago.
My family has had to dig deep to find strength. This has made us a closer unit. My daughter, Sabrina, chose to come home from Africa. She is my best friend in the whole wide expanding universe and I love having her around and seeing who she is becoming. My investment banker son, Shayne, chose to put me before his career at this time, because he said “I was his priority”. That was pretty significant. My husband and I are dating frequently and embarrassing our children (they tease us and call us cute!). I am spending more time with my mom and sister who have lived with us for 25 years. I see my dad through my mom’s eyes as she recounts stories about him. He passed away when he was only 52. My mom, Zera, is 82 and a pretty awesome woman. I call her “Curious George” because she is always exploring. I teach her how to use BBM; she makes me watch Awakening with Brahma Kumaris, her favorite show on Astha Television. She teaches me to make Indian dishes; I teach her to make simple, healthy, quick global dishes. Everyday we smile and contemplate what we are going to do together. How can this be “giving up on the year”?
I have learned to be kind to myself: take naps when I need to, ask for help even though I find that difficult, and indulge in Baskin Robbins’ Chocolate Chip Ice-cream and Cadbury Whole Nut chocolate bars. There is something delicious about being able to do this and not feel guilty about it.
Through the blog, I have connected with people that I have not seen since kindergarten. Friends and colleagues have taken time out of their busy lives to offer encouragement and support. I have heard from people I don’t know, from different parts of the world, who have shared insight, stories and perspectives. And, most of all, the prayers… I’m convinced that God is listening. All these prayers are giving me the strength to cope and the will to fight. I am so humbled and grateful for this. How can this be “giving up on this year?”
So from today onwards, I will have a different approach. While my focus will continue to be on fighting the cancers and looking towards the future, I am not giving up on this year. In fact, this will be the year when I rekindle long lost friendships, make new relationships, embrace whatever comes my way with openness and acceptance, learn to be a better person, and seek opportunities to grow in every aspect of my life. And it is my cancers that have made this possible. Who would have thought?