Bring it on Mother F'ers!
This might be an emotional roller coaster of a post
I am not sure where this will go until I write it
This will be an up-and-down post. Down part first. In the past two weeks, I've come off of chemo due to low platelets, had a medication denied by my insurance company, got a new medication and my first ever shot in my butt muscle, had my CT Scans moved up, saw my tumors grow slightly, and found something in my lung that they are not sure what it is (could be c but also might not be. Right now a 50/50 chance), oh, and found out I have to get another PET Scan and a Pulmonary Function Test for my lung and most likely have to have a procedure (small one compared to the other surgery) to remove the thing from my lung probably in April. Ok, now you are up to speed. It's a lot, but whatever.
But that's not what this post is. You see, despite all of the above and what I've gone through, I feel stronger, more resolved, more optimistic, and more aware than ever. How has that happened? Not sure, but that's the point of this post.
Let's start with what I did today. I took a walk. Not a short one, but a 6-mile walk on streets and in Forest Park, an amazing huge park in Portland that is basically a forest (hence the name). It is beyond restorative for me to be outside for 2 hours and walk in nature. I also listened to a podcast first, which does nothing for my mental state, and then listened to music.
I got completely inspired. Music has the most profound effect on me. I can't explain it but it can take me to new places, no matter how many times that I've heard the same song. I posted one of my playlists and it makes me feel with every song. And those feelings make me stronger. Maybe the key to my attitude is feeling more and being more receptive to feeling? I no longer bury feelings, I now experience them.
I have a lot of shit going on, no doubt. But there are a few ways I can go. I can retreat into myself, which is not an option for me. I can be who I was over the past few years which is also not an option (I didn't like myself that much). Or I can embrace what I am going through, look at it as the next challenge I need to overcome and face, and become a better and stronger person as a result. This is where I have decided to focus my time. This is why my Burtness (the degrees that I am of myself and who I want to be - 10 is the ultimate Burt) is the highest that it's been in years.
Now, again, I am a very lucky guy. I have two cancers for sure and one unknown, and my symptoms are still light and I function well in all ways. Not everyone is lucky like I am. Because I am feeling great (and no doubt my mindset plays into it) I want to take on more.
Have you seen the Rocky movies? Do you know how in the movies when Rocky gets fired up he tells the other guy to hit him? Rocky is my new hero. The more I am being hit lately, the stronger my resolve gets. I don't only want to overcome this for myself, but I want to make sure that I can help others with what I am learning. I even want to help people do research on me since I am, what I would call, a Zebra Unicorn. A zebra is someone with a rare illness. I have multiple types of rare illnesses. I don't consider myself a good guy or anything else and I don't need that validation. Simply, I get satisfaction from helping others so I am a bit selfish.
I have to be honest. Yes, I get sad sometimes. It isn't easy. Last Friday, I cried. A lot. But then I decided to keep living and do my improv show and it was 100% the right decision. I had an amazing time, forgot about my health, made people laugh, and remembered things that I hadn't thought of in a while.
Right now, I am focused on skiing, skydiving, writing, volunteering, working, going to NYC, hiking, rooting for my sports teams, exercising, and reaching out to people. So far it's going well. I am very mindful of taking on too much so I am also pulling myself out of things that I don't have time for. I now come first so I can achieve all of the things I've mentioned.
So how can I have such a positive attitude? I wish I knew and honestly, studying how I have and keep my attitude might be as valuable as studying the cancers and health issues I have. I think it's that I won't allow myself to dwell on the negative scenarios because what's the point? I am trying to live one day at a time and today has been a great day. I want to enjoy the fuck out of life. I don't plan on going anywhere, but one does feel more mortal with all of this stuff.
So bring it on world, the more you throw at me the stronger I get. I am a fighter, I think more than I have ever realized. And I will win, I have no doubts.