About 60 of us got together at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center in Newark, Del. one last week to participate in a mind, body, and spirit workshops put on by the Leukemia, Lymphoma Society as part of its annual blood cancer series.
The mind, body, spirit topic was a bit more fuzzy than this group is used to as they have spent much of their cancer journey count blood cells, platelets, and generally catching up on all the stuff they should have learned in high school biology. Ah, such is the life of a cancer group.
Cindy Waddington an RN with a bunch of other letters after her name guided the presentation.
She had one of those voices that is soothing and at the same time somehow gets and keeps your attention.
Her main message – one I contend is very dangerous – seemed to stress acceptance of the new normal brought to us via our cancer diagnosis.
In a lot of ways she is right there is great loss that comes with a cancer diagnosis and railing against the bad deal has little effect and can only deepen anxiety.
And yet, there is something about raging against the change, about not ‘Going Gently Into That Good Night.”
There is something noble into raging against all that is cancer and pushing envelope to find what truly the “New Normal” is.
Before I was sick I could bench press 325 pounds; I will never do that again, but because I rage against the cancer and its long rage changes, I now run three miles at a whack with a 40 pound backpack on. I am finding my new peaks and not peaks and not settling with acceptance – again that is just me and I have been accused of having a screw loose on more than one occasion.
Another point she made – and this one I agree with wholehaeartedly – is that cancer reinforces life values. How we approach cancer is reflective of how we approach life.
I guess that’s it.