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Cancer survivors or veterans?

July 5, 2013
People in remission are called cancer survivors. After writing Today Cancer Tomorrow The World about my second battle with testicular cancer, and emerging as the great warrior Testiculess (Ha.),I don’t believe that’s accurate. We emerged from a chemo-radiation firefight in the war zone of the sick and emerged back into the temporal but treasured and intensely rewarding world of the healthy. Ah, to see the people who have never been in touch with mortalioty running and exercising with the only mindset of staying in shape! But to call us survivors? Survivors are people who are castaways. Survivors are people who subsist. Animals survive. We triumphed! We were victorious. But survivors? How about veterans? For we endured and prevailed. But we’re different than people who are soldiers in a war. They face death because other people outside of themselves are trying to kill them. We have a malignant sprawl trying to overdevelop and ruin the paradise of our bodies from the inside. And even a soldier can still die from that foe. So are we on a battlefield between two wars? I believer surviving has emerged because it’s our way of staying slightly humble, never getting cocky, a nod to the perpetual respect for a foe who could take anything away from us–a spleen, a nose, a testicle, a breast, a life.

Now, every second of life is like the first lick of a great song. But then I find myself having a difficult time getting a job. Older, Two-time winner of cancer. Do you see hospitals hire people with cancer to work with cancer patients? Maybe. But do they recruit them from chemo or radiation? Although, this might give them to idea that patients should work off their health bills, another type of rowing galley or chain gang.

 

Afterwards, you come back to your life. You shake it out of a box and try to reassemble it. And there are parts that don’t fit. You can’t put it together. Is your life missing the final piece of a puzzle, or are you the missing piece that will solve another puzzle. Trouble is, where is that puzzle when everything ends with a question and a smile? Now that I find myself struggling for a solid income, all I can do is be disappointed in myself. I’ve written the book, and I’m trying to get speaking engagements, which is definitely a mission, but I don’t want to go the root that “humor releases stress”–especially when I’ve seen comics throw up before going onstage so they can say the same thing–sometimes humor increase stress. Kinda funny.

It’s funny hearing people who have never been sick, who want to go to India, or do healing massages, and who have never been sick, and have these theories, and read spiritual books. And all I can do is a half-smile, and feel they’re on a well-meaning path of denial. I guess it’s like when your broke and earn money. You don’t want to spend any because nothing seems worth it. The search comes from turning around as you go forward while standing in one place and looking into another person’s eyes and laughing.
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