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.

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.