Thursday, April 07, 2016

ESPN and Not Giving Up

I'm in the midst of a week of mostly crappy early spring weather. I'm making good use of it. My taxes are done. The basement is organized (something I've been meaning to do for a year). This morning I stood out in the rain and prepared a bed of mushroom spawn and woodchips, my first attempt at growing edible fungi, something I've been wanting to do for decades. And now I'm catching up on many months of loose ends on the computer.

In the process, just now I came across a link to this video broadcasted on ESPN this past winter, one of several which included clips from my video blog. (That's me on the couch, on the bike, in the pool)

I just watched it twice, and burst into tears both times.

It occurred to me that I haven't shared it on this blog, that I've all but abandoned this blog, and my video diary too. There are reasons for this which go beyond shifting priorities and busy schedules, as much as I'd like to think otherwise. I won't try to explain it all now, but I will say that the reality of cancer is not as Hollywood as it appears in the media. It's not all drama, triumph and tragedy, not simply a battle you either win or lose. For many of us, it's more like a rocky road that leaves you battered and scarred and permanently altered in ways that are difficult to describe, or to believe aren't your own fault because you're not thinking positive, not trying hard enough.

And then you keep stumbling over more rocks.

To say the least, it can get hard to keep putting attention on it, let alone drawing attention to it, editing video and writing about it in a public way.

I would like to leave cancer behind. But it's not that simple.

Don't get me wrong, my life is good. I'm basically healthy. There's laughter, and love, deepening friendships and new friendships, challenge and excitement. But there's also the specter of death, the feeling of living a slightly diminished life, thanks to daily pills that oh-so-subtly suppress my life force, while hopefully also suppressing recurrence of disease. It's a difficult trade, but a necessary one.

On the other hand, we all have challenges.

In the famous speech that launched the foundation in his name and the ESPN video series that prompted this post, Jimmy Valvano said "Don't give up. Don't ever give up."

Of course not.

My road may be rocky, but I still hope it's long.


Anonymous said...

I just watched the video and burst into tears too - and I'm not even in it. Approaching lucky 13 years for me. Why did I make it when so many others didn't and things looked very dire? No idea. Just keep on keeping on. I do wish the stupid scars didn't ache though... Both emotional and physical ;) Just enough to remind you that it never goes all the way away..... Your words continue to resonate. Thank you.

Amy Czerniec said...

Amy it's great to hear from you. I loved the video, can't say I cried but it was very powerful.

I remember when I was first diagnosed. My brother-in-law said, well look at it this way, It's just a year or so maybe out of your life and then things will return to normal. If that's true, then when is my life gonna return to normal. Each day gets a little bit better, but so much has changed in me physically and emotionally.

I kinda feel off the face of the earth with my video blogging as well. I hear you on the editing and constant running of the camera etc... I needed a break but I do feel fortunate that by vlogging my journey I have been able to help other people that have to face a cancer diagnosis. As did you help me. I watched so many of your videos and they all made me feel like I had a connection with this woman who lives out east from me. You are such a beautiful vibrant woman. I am glad that we have made a connection through the world wide web.

Of course we will keep fighting and sharing and loving.

Thank you for sharing your feelings with us, you have such a way with explaining things.


iris said...

Just came across your blog and Vlog today. I, of course, am on my own cancering adventures and have been writing about it since my diagnosis in Dec. 2013. Thank you for continuing to write - I think that societal ideas about the longterm impact of cancering needs to be challenged. The idea that a "Year or so out life will return to normal" is so patently untrue for everyone I know who has been diagnosed. I have had the framing since early on that my cancering was a wake-up call, and an invitation to transformation- and still it requires a lot of emotional work, including grieving for how things have changed.

love and light from the Coast of Oregon-

Laxman S said...

Wow, what an awesome spot to spend hours and hours! It's beautiful and I'm also surprised that you had it all to yourselves!

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Unknown said...

I love your vlogs. Would be nice to see you on utube more current but I understand. Life can be busy. You’ve made a real impression on me so thank you. We all keep drawing strength from one another. Keep keeping and let us know ur okhere and there if it fits into one of your days. Ty Lori

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