Debbie, Wade and I met after my third treatment at a local watering hole. It was just a few days before Christmas, so of course cocktails were in order. I was good that night, only having a couple of glasses of wine - okay they had 9oz pours, but you know what I mean. At the end of our "date", I was much calmer and Debbie suggested that wine after RADS would be a good idea. At that time, I didn't really take it to heart, I mean, can you imagine 28 days of wine. I know, I know, some of you my friends are thinking, yes of course, not only can I imagine that, that's how I get through my life LOL!
So, here I am day 12 of 28 days of radiation treatment, and I have to admit, Debbie was right. There is nothing better to cover the pain and grief that builds after each session. Wine is a magical elixir. Not only does it make you feel amazing while you sip it in a classy establishment with the right kind of glass, it also numbs all your senses. I arrive with a crinkled face, a burning chest and a sore, burning, itching back.....and just like magic, within an hour I'm smiling from ear to ear and feeling no pain. I could be at home pumped with Oxy, sitting alone, but I'm not, I'm with my friends, laughing, enjoying life and doing what feeds my soul, all thanks to some delicious wine.
Which brings me to the second part of my blog title. You know, the part about the Cancer Free Pass. Now, I'm not saying that just because a person has cancer they should be forgiven for everything. I know an old man who once told me "I can be a bastard and a dirty old man now because no one can do anything to me, if they do I'll just claim dementia". So, that's not at all what I mean when I am referring to the "Cancer Free Pass", what I am referring to is the ability to live the way you really want to live without fear of judgement. It is my hope that most people by my age would have been able to reach that moment, however, if you haven't then cancer really allows you to do that fully. Perhaps I'm not making sense to you "cancer free dudes", so let me explain. I'll have to use myself as an example in this explanation - as that's my point of reference.
So, prior to cancer, I thought I was a pretty good egg. I had a great life, and had tons of fun, but, and I'm not sure if that should have been a "but" or an "and", I was very, responsible. Everything I did was always considered, analyzed and balanced against my life goals. That's not to say I wasn't spontaneous, both my friends and family could say that I was very spontaneous, however, even in my spontaneousness, I was still considering outcomes. I was always balancing my desires against what I was lead to believe was right and responsible. So of course, I chose the mature, appropriate action.
Now that I have a terminal cancer, I am different. Let me clarify here. I have had cancer in it's non life changing form a few times in the past. I have had cervical cancer, early stages, easily removed by ablation. I have had skin cancer four times, twice requiring surgery, luckily all four times were basel cell carcinoma. None of these experiences affected me or lead me to believe that I would ever face a serious cancer. As a matter of fact, none of them have any relation to my cancer, so it was simply luck of the draw. That being said, Cancer has changed my life in so many ways that they could never be covered in one blog post. Most of those changes have been negative, however this one, in my opinion is positive.
So here is my take on the "Cancer Free Pass", for me, it allows me to truly be the person I am. You know, when you see young children and they do the craziest, most beautiful things, like lying on fresh grass and laughing like crazy, or jumping up and down on a bed just because it is fun, that is what I'm talking about. That is how I am now. My kids and my husband would say, "you've always been this way", and yes, in private I have. Now, I am willing to let my real self "hang out". It's not that I don't care what people think, it's more that I want people to know the real me. The real me is and has always been a crazy girl. I don't know where I got that from, I'd like to say it came from my mother, but no, she to all my knowledge of her, was refined and proper. I don't think it came from my father because although he has a relaxed fun side, I always knew him as a driven, career oriented person like myself. So, it's my belief my crazy side came from my birth parents in some way. My birth mother Maureen, although so quiet and shy since I have known her must have had a crazy side, if not, then it is from my birth father of whom I know nothing.
Yikes wasn't that rambling. I never even got to the "Cancer Free Pass" point. Caner has shoved my mortality right in my face. I have shoved my life right back in Cancers face. I am no longer concerned about what anyone thinks of me. I will show up to life exactly the way I want to. If I laugh too loud, or cry when you weren't expecting it, well too bad, I'm just being me. I don't need to explain. I'm not mean or nasty to anyone, but I'm certainly not going to live the rest of my short years being a boring old teetotaller. I am going to live them with so much life, vim and vigour you young twenty year olds will be envious. I think I am very lucky. I have been given a defined time and I am going to love every single minute of it.
So there is my Cancer Free Pass. I am going to drink as much wine as I like, sleep as late as I like and have as much fun as I like. Dammit why shouldn't I, and why shouldn't all of you???? What are you waiting for? As you go through your daily life, how do you know what will happen. I know, you probably won't get cancer, but wouldn't you like to know that if you did, you had lived your best life?. I know that I did and will continue to live my best life until the day I take my last breath.
Cancer has given me this great gift. Let me give this to you!
Live! Live the way your passions drive you! Do NOT settle.
Your heart will thank you.