Wednesday, August 31, 2011

#43: Play the Cancer Card

Do you have a birthday party to go to, or an after-work function after a long week? Maybe you just can't make it out of bed to meet your friend on time?

Well, if you've only recently finished chemotherapy or radiation treatment, you have one small advantage on your side: you can Play the Cancer Card.

Now, I'm not suggesting using treatment as an excuse to get out of an obligation. With this resolution, I've merely resolved to listen extra hard to my body in moments of doubt to verify whether I'm physically able to fulfill those obligations. In these moments, I refuse to feel guilty for blaming my fatigue on the recent conclusion of my treatment.

Let's face it, many of the decisions we make in our daily lives are made in an effort to please others. Going to a family function, or going to work when we're (even just a little) sick, may not always be a decision made in our best interests.

One positive part of treatment is that it taught me how to be 100% committed to myself and my own health, and how to listen to that instinctive voice that sometimes simply says "NO".

So, on rare occasions over the past few months, I Played the Cancer Card. And every single time I meant it. I've been to hell and back in the past year, so when I feel like spending an evening parked on the couch, giant bowl of cereal in hand, I'm sorry, but I'm not going to think twice about skipping your birthday party.

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