08.26.02. August 26th – each year – is designated as Women’s Equality Day. (Did you know that?) This day was also very important for me because this is the day that I was told – after my second diagnostic colonoscopy – that the doc had “…good news and bad news. The good news is that you are not going to have to wear a bag.” (Today in COLONTOWN we PROUDLY offer our very own STOMA CITY!)
This morning I awakened to fog enveloping my room, making it impossible for me to see my usual, inspirational view of Lake Barcroft, a lake created by a dam, is, actually, a reservoir. What immediately came to my mind was that -if I’m not mindful - I could always live my life in a “fog”. What better way to “see” through a fog than to have gratitude & gratefulness in mind as I “cut through the fog” of each and every day.
PURPOSE From my early thirties until my diagnosis (I was 58), my professional life had excited me, making me feel real and relevant...Life was exciting and good but, in retrospect, shallow, meaningless, pointless. I often wondered to myself that “why” question: why was I doing this? What good was this really doing for anyone? Why did I feel so lonely and lost? Today I understand that my calling really began when I was finally diagnosed and given a reason for having felt so lost, alone, and dying for almost two years.
The concept of “town”, “place” “home”, & “family” is a huge factor in my own life. I was born in a little town on the banks of the Yellowstone River in southeastern Montana, trading hub for the entire corner of that huge state. Miles City was named for the Civil War General, Nelson A. Miles, sent out to take control of the territory after the Custer debacle with garrisons of soldiers, horses and all the paraphernalia of conquerors. The old Fort Keogh was still standing, and I used to be able to roam - finding century-old artifacts - over the old buildings and grounds. (This can be another post for another day.) When I was growing up, the “old west” of “cowboys and Indians” was both in the past and also very much part of my present experience. Bars and old west-type saloons lined the commercial section (about 8 city blocks), people wore the cowboy garb (except for my sheepman father!), and the celebration of the “old west” was in full, post-war swing.
Erika and I recently attended the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago, aided in part by a patient advocate scholarship offered by ASCO and its Conquer Cancer Foundation.
ASCO is the largest gathering of cancer researchers and clinicians in the world, and it attracts a considerable number of advocates, patients, drug and device companies — anyone and everyone in “cancer land.” There are always a huge number of presentations and poster sessions, along with a dizzying array of side meetings, networking events, and coffee and drink meetups generated by the presence of 40,000 people focused on cancer.… Read more
By Robin McGee, Dec 12, 2016
Visit Robin's blog, The Cancer Olympics
Tomorrow is my five-year CT scan. Two days later is my five-year scope. My rational mind knows that these tests are simply pictures of my reality. And rationally, I know that whatever they reveal I will somehow cope. But my subconscious mind has other ideas.