Here we are at the beginning of 2020. I find myself wondering what might lie ahead. I hope it is good. I have no New Year’s resolutions and I haven’t made any promises I might later find myself unable to keep.
Five simple commitments embody the full extent of my 2020 plan:
- Spend time with family and friends
- Offer kindness and compassion to those around me
- Do my best to stay well
- Study hard and pass my exams
- Find a silver lining in every cloud
Somewhere in the last decade any inclination for long-term planning lost its appeal. “Life goals” or whatever else they might be called became equally unattractive. This probably happened around the time my cancer treatments finished. During treatment the medical team form a kind of patchwork quilt around you. It’s not a safety net because there are never any guarantees, but it softens the landing every time cancer throws you over the edge. Post-treatment you step out into the unknown with an unwelcome companion called uncertainty. The uncertainty that stems from cancer has a life of its own. It doesn’t disappear when treatment concludes and for me, it makes any thoughts of long-term plans or serious promises far to vulnerable.
So hello 2020. I’m happy to see you and hope you’ll be just fine. I have no big expectations and will gladly take each day as it comes. January 1st and 2nd: time with family, kindness, compassion, and studying for exams were all in the mix. Staying well needs a bit more work though.
And finally a big goodbye to 2019 and the rest of the last decade. 2.5 years of active cancer treatments plus five years of follow-ups (and still counting, because monitoring extends to 10 years after clinical trial participation) left very little space for more enjoyable pursuits. Fondness isn’t a word I easily associate with the 20-teens, but we still created a handful of very happy memories and had some wonderful times in between and around the cancer years.
I may not be complete, or completely cured (who knows?), but I’m still here…. 🙂