Skipping Out on Life?
Since learning I can access Facebook Memories every day, it's become part of my daily routine. I like to see what I was doing each day in previous years.
Before and after lung cancer
Some memories make me roll my eyes and reflect on some, not so great, decisions and relationships. Others make me smile and remember the fun times with family and friends. There is never doubt if a memory occurred before or after my lung cancer diagnosis. Funny how everything is now divided between ‘Before lung cancer’ and ‘After lung cancer’.
There is an option to omit a particular date you don't want to be reminded of. I don't care for that option. Both the good and bad in my life have brought me to where I am today. Most memories remind me of just how much I've grown as a person. They show me how difficult life was and how far I've come over the years.
Scared of the unknown
After finding out I had stage IV lung cancer and starting treatment, I didn't make plans outside of the house. I would only leave for work and medical appointments. I was scared to plan ahead. The thought of committing to a trip months in advance or to anything that involved a nonrefundable purchase or deposit was out of the question. I feared the unknown. I was worried about cancer progression and treatment side effects that may or may not happen. I was missing out on fun times. I was skipping out on life.
Living my life despite lung cancer
A recent Facebook memory from 2015 was a bittersweet mix of good and bad. It was the first time I said, “*uck (forget) cancer, I’m not letting lung cancer hold me back.” I bought concert tickets, weeks in advance, got dolled up, put a flower in my hair and I went out for the first time since my lung cancer diagnosis.
That day was empowering. While I was getting ready for our night out, I felt a mix of feelings. I was brave, I was strong. I was doing everything I would have done before lung cancer. I was normal again.
I didn't tell my boyfriend I was also feeling physically weak and my treatment side effect pain was increasing by the minute. We went to the concert. I tried to enjoy it and had a smile on my face despite the pain I was feeling.
My reminder to live life now
I could have stayed home. I could have called the night short. But I stuck it out. Was it a great time? Not at all. It hurt to stand. It hurt to sit. It hurt to move between sitting and standing positions.
But that night proved to me that the world and Rev concerts were going to go on if I was there or not. I had a choice to miss out or participate. From that day, I broke out of the depression-like cycle of staying home on my couch. I continued to make plans. I continued to live life. As Nicole Russell would say, I learned to Live Life Now.
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