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Blessing and Stress in one on the Big C Highway

February 12, 2012

There are people who try to isolate the moment where cancer began. Some attribute to stress, shifts in diet, or being near Los Alamos during the blasts of the 40s (A more likely connection). But death doesn’t have a motive. You can only trace its symptoms. And once you have cancer you have a stress point and a blessing in one, and what it truly is–well, it’s your mortality. So most people who haven’t been tapped and tampered by a cancer cell intrusive visitation just cruise along the highway of life enjoying the scenery, laughing, and watching the sunsets.But a cancer survivor knows that always ahead there is the blinking red light of an approaching tollgate, and they have to stop at the gate and get clearance to head further down the road.

How can stress and be a blessing?

I feel fortunate. This is my rematch with cancer. After I survived my first brush with The Big C,it changed my life and I quit my job as a journalist, did stand-up and moved to California to surf. I made a vow to pursue my passions. And because of this, I never enriched myself at the expense of other people, which is a nice way of saying I haven’t enriched myself financially, but grew rich in friends. I’ve written the novels, I stayed close to my creative edge. I still believe in it. I joked that I acquired depth from my first battle with the Big C, and I thought I had enough depth after that. And here I am again, acquiring more depth, and I could have done without it. But the wild thing is having cancer the second time is like being able to live through the attendance of your own funeral because you have the chance to see if you have succeeded in becoming a good person. And so all my friends rise, and the images of the life they gave me and the experiences I Had that shaped me into the guy with tubes and chemo in the infusion ward of the Stanford Cancer Center. The creative path I chose and how I know that I inherited the best qualities my parents wanted to pass onto me. Just gratefulness. The music I love, the books I’ve read and movies that inspired me–And I got inspired and I did pursue, and I failed here and there, but I kept going just like all the heroes I believed in as  kid. So I’m wake surfing for the rest of my life! That’s a blessing.

When I walk into the infusion ward I tell them, “I”m so happy to be here, because the bad thing inside me is getting weaker and I’m getting stronger. If I wasn’t here I’d be dying.

I am walking through a painful world, but it’s a trail of tears limned with smiles and gratitude, and I may stumble and groan, but I am walking through the stark horizon and the hallucinations toward that further oasis. My dreams on my shoulders keeping away the circling vultures of doubt. So head bowed, thirsty, my body armor clanking, tubes dragging, I look ahead and see the footsteps of the cancer that did this to me, and I’m on its trail, grasping my sword to hunt it down. I’m getting closer, I see its figure a few miles ahead of the blinking lights from the distant future of another toll gate,

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 14, 2012 11:52 pm

    Fred your writing brings up so many more of the feelings I endured while going through my cancer…I am amazed at how creative you are at describing it-yet I understand everything because I was there. i sometimes feel I was a better person while going through chemo-I recognized love and I stopped being pissed at people who I felt wronged me in my life…I trhought what the fuck am i wasting my time on that for?…but now I am done with chemo and I am back to being pissed at those peeps again..I mean what the hell? I was fighting mortality…we grow through this nasty ass big C, but then again we are just frickin human. I should lighten up on myself…because the gift I got from the experience was the gift of realizing there is a CHOICE on how we want to live our daily lives.!

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