As most of us know, unfortunately, plans sometimes need to be changed at the last minute due to treatment schedules, our own health, or the health of others. How you deal with these changes can be challenging but we can grow from them.
Missing Lungevity's Hope Summit this year
I have previously written about Lungevity's Hope Summit and how wonderful it is to be surrounded by 350 other people who have been touched by Lung Cancer. Mostly warriors but caregivers as well. It is a weekend filled with hope, love, energy, and most importantly, friends. Hope Summit was a few weekends ago and for the first time in 5 years, I was unable to attend.
My youngest daughter, 22 years old, attends with me each year. On the day before our flight, she came down with a fever and a stomach bug. She knew she absolutely could not attend and infect possibly 350 people who have compromised immune systems. I seriously considered going without her, but since my sepsis in January, I am still not up to par and was afraid to travel for two reasons.
Most importantly, I had been with my daughter the entire day before and knew I could possibly be a carrier and get everyone sick. And also, I am still having trouble walking and my brain/memory/cognitive abilities are still compromised as well. This is the most important weekend of the year for me. Missing Hope Summit was very hard on me emotionally.
How do you deal with plans changing?
I have found my tribe, my family, my fellow warriors. We lift each other up. Hope Summit is what carries me through the rest of the year.
So how do you deal with a change of plans for such an important event? Each of us has someone or something that is very important and having to cancel plans can be very disrupting. I could have chosen to be angry or I could choose to be happy. Or you can find a happy medium in between. That latter is what I chose. Yes, for the first few hours after making the decision not to attend, I pouted. I was angry. I finally realized I was only thinking of myself and Hope Summit is bigger than all of us. Its intent is to uplift our spirits so at that moment I chose to remain happy. The sheer fact that I am still waking up each morning makes me happy so I chose to live through all the pictures and videos.
As survivors, we adapt and move forward
In my mind, I was at the Hope Summit. On my phone and on my computer. I was able to still attend in my own little world. There will be many events we may not be able to attend but how we deal with it conforms us into the person that we are. As survivors/warriors, we must continue to put that foot forward and go on. We may stumble along the way. We may not be able to do the things we want to, but we can adapt and still participate and not let it bring us down.
Editor’s Note: We are extremely saddened to say that on January 28, 2020, Jennifer Toth passed away. Jennifer was a passionate advocate for the Lung Cancer community. She will be deeply missed.
Do you find that staying zen through your lung cancer diagnosis has helped you in your journey?