My husband asked what my personal thoughts were regarding cancer and courage as he is writing something about this subject from the point of view of a caregiver, I think there are many answers to this question and no answer is better than the other and can be applied to many life altering situations other than the big C. My first thought was that courage is realizing that certain death is potentially imminent sooner than expected but choosing to continue to move forward in a productive way despite this, making the time left as meaningful as possible. “Meaningful as possible” is different for everyone and can be big or small, size in this case does not matter and depends on the capabilities of a person due to health and circumstances. For example, I had a friend who had many grandchildren and when she was diagnosed with cancer she bought and wrapped presents for every occasion that would happen a year after she was gone for her loved ones, she was always doing for others even after she passed, the last day I saw her alive I visited her on my birthday and she gave me a little gift of a toy dispenser that pooped M&M’s, she was so thoughtful and knew I loved stupid things and candy AND remembered it was my birthday (this was pre internet and Amazon), she died 2 days after I saw her. Not that giving actual presents is what everyone should or wants to do but I think having a dire diagnosis can turn the volume up on what is important to that individual whatever that may be. Courage can be like the tide in the ocean, sometimes it’s in and sometimes it’s way out towards the horizon, we all have moments of weakness and fear, there should be no shame in this. When I was finally ready to hear my prognosis and was told that I was most likely never going to go into remission I went straight to bed when I got home, pulled the covers over my head and didn’t get up until the next day, my husband was worried that I had given up and maybe I had for that moment but I needed to so that I could have courage to get up the next morning and continue my life and what was left of it however long or short of time I had, my attitude “As long as I am here I might as well see what can happen.” I am not good at giving up and so I haven’t so far thankfully as right now things are just getting good again and I want to continue to see what happens. Courage can be healing old traumas by bringing things into the light that had been hidden away, releasing shame and guilt, letting resentment go. Courage can be choosing to die when it is right for that person to do so, too often the emphasis is on whether someone has “beaten the odds” or “won their battle” due to remission being accomplished, the ones perished punctuated with statements such as ”they fought so hard only to lose…” or “they lost their battle” when maybe these people died in the perfect way for them…I get that is a weird concept, death is not often looked on or treated as reverently as birth though I wish it was, two sides of a coin, heads or tails an entrance and an exit, we‘re all gonna do it one day.
Courage as it applies to me is sharing my thoughts here as lame as that might sound, the little kid in me cringes when I hit the publish button fearing judgement and disapproval but I do so anyway.
Courage is living, courage is dying, courage is loving, courage is letting go, courage is taking chances, courage is speaking loudly or not speaking at all, courage is standing up for what you truly believe in, courage is admitting when you are wrong, courage is going after what you want, courage is letting go of what does not serve you, courage can be big or it can be small.
We are all courageous at times and we are all cowards at times, again two sides of a coin…I just pictured the cowardly lion from The Wizard Of Oz “Put ‘em up grrr” Ha, dude I am random tonight.
Until next time ❤️