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The burden of cancer might not ever go away, but you can turn it into a force for good in your life and your world. I live the rich, full, and complete life that I do because of the burden of cancer that drives me. I would not have my life any other way today.
As a newly minted 40 year old young adult cancer survivor, I've spent much of my 30's heavily engaged with testicular cancer advocacy, but there's other things I've aspired to do in my arc through life. If my life before cancer was my first act, and my life after cancer from the ages of 33 to 39 has been a second, then let this new decade of my 40's become my third. A new era in my life begins today.
I have 4 draft Facebook page posts, and a half dozen draft blogs on my website just trying to capture all of the thoughts running through my head, and I've finally gotten a handle on what's been going on with this crazy Scorpio mind of mine, as I approach 40 as a young adult cancer survivor. As I approach this huge milestone, I'm remembering all of those times that I was so spooked and convinced that this day would never come and missing out on so many life experiences, but at the same time I'm also remembering how I made it through those times, how I overcame it all, and all of the amazing people that I found or who found me along the way that were able to help me in this journey, and such deep love and gratitude that I feel for so many.
It’s coming this Fall 2017! Mark your calendars for October 13-15th in Denver, Colorado for a first of its kind Testicular Cancer Summit, featuring Dr. Lawrence Einhorn as an honorary guest speaker!If you’ve been wondering what’s going on and what this is all about, here are the Top 5 things you need to know about the Testicular Cancer Summit.
Six years after my cancer fight, I still GRIEVE the loss of my life as I once knew it sometimes, thinking that everything would always be okay, that my family would always be healthy, and friends that I truly love and care about will always be around. I want to believe that, but know it's just now how things work. Why do I get so sappy and emotional? Because I love you, and I want you to know that now, today, because I know that you might not be around tomorrow, or maybe I'm the one that might not be around.
One day I was reading my friend's website, and my jaw hit the floor when I read a post about grief. It was the first time I'd ever seen a "grief chart." I had no idea there even was such a thing, and I could easily identify myself at every single step of this big curve as a cancer survivor. I had been writing and sharing in my cancer journey for a few years at this point, and it had never occurred to me even once that this entire process and all that I was going through, was all really one massive grief curve.
Who knew that one day I would get so pissed off at lawn freaking mower manufacturers, that I would feel the need to sound off about all of the shenanigans and totally deceptive and misleading marketing practices going on in the industry. Really? You can’t just walk into a store to look at lawn mowers without being fed a bunch of BS? Good grief!
Turning 40 has been a lot harder than I ever expected, and there's a lot of things in my life that I've still been struggling to come to terms with, including my cancer history. Braving the Wilderness has helped me to feel more at peace and at ease with much of this, rather than feeling the various forms of inner struggle that could have been keeping more than a few therapists busy instead.
Somehow 22 years ago, I managed to win the heart of this incredibly beautiful woman that I get to call my wife. I do consider it a miracle every single day that despite all that we've been through and faced together, that we've never lost ourselves or each other through it all. Those who know us well will know just how much that's really saying.
Our two kids could not be more different. They're both amazing, and challenging, in their own ways! :) For WIlliam's 'YES DAY', he was balls to the wall and wanted to use ever single minute that he had. Katie was decidedly more casual, and for the most part just wanted to bum out at home and watch TV all day! Uhh, okay, that's easy enough?!!
Rather than showering William with yet more gifts and junk that he doesn't need for his birthday this year, we gave him a 'Yes Day' where he could fully control the schedule and everything that we did, within reason. It empowers kids to take control, which they love considering they usually don't have much, and focuses them on experiences and fun things to do rather than more throw away toys. William loved it, and it was a huge success!
To celebrate our 40th birthdays on October 27th and January 1st (well, Debbie is turning 28 again!), we ate our way through DC with family and friends. We're a few grand poorer and a couple of pounds heavier, but it was worth it! Here's the story and a ton of photos. :-)
Well, it was a little past peak, but the annual DC Cherry Blossom Festival was actually today, and the weather was drop dead gorgeous also, so we dragged our butts out of bed at 6:30am and were on the road by 7:00am sharp to get down into town to take it all in!
Here in the Washington, D.C. area, we only get an air show every other year at Andrews Air Force Base (Joint Base Andrews) due to DoD budget cuts, which makes the biennial Andrews Air Show a must-see event. This year I went with just my son, and it was an amazing day!
Do you own your photography, or does your photography own you? A classic age old question, that's often a bit of a balancing act that requires a bit of experimentation!