Nancy and I have traveled a similar journey for the past two years. I have to remind myself constantly that we have different perspectives.
Nancy and I were both in the room when we first met Dr. Saroha. Nancy sat in a chair, I lay in my bed as we first heard the words, “You have cancer.” We were less than four feet apart and yet we were miles apart. I listened to words that caused me to think about my own mortality. While Nancy heard the exact same words she was left wondering what life would be like without me. Perspectives.
I could not have asked for a better partner for the journey these past few years. Nancy has made everything I have accomplished possible. She has helped me through difficult times and given me strength when I wanted to do “just a little bit more.” Nancy has been a fantastic partner, and yet we see things through different lenses.
MOVING LIKE I WANT TO
I have more strength and feel more like pre-cancer Dan than I have in close to a year. Just the other day I said, “I am finally starting to move like I want to.” Let me interpret that Dan speak for you. My day began with eight am coffee with one of Kennett’s most exciting and influential social justice advocates. We talked of partnerships and how to work closely together. I have accepted a position on the Board of Kacie’s Cause. While I am promoting The Journey Continues there are three other books in the works. First Baptist is full of life and there is much to do. Life is busy. I am energized and excited by all of it.
Nancy sees all the activity I just wrote about and wonders if maybe I ought not slow down? She can’t help but think that somehow all this activity is doing damage to my body and taking time off of my life. We have talked about it. We asked Dr. Saroha and he assured us it is not. Still, I can see the question in her eyes as she looks at me sometimes.
Two people, same exact experiences having different perspectives.
LET IT GO
Part of my goal over the past few years has been to clear out some of the stuff I no longer need or use. My woodshop used to be extensive. Today I do not have the energy to maintain it as I should. There are other places I would rather invest my time. Slowly I have identified pieces of equipment that I can let go. The money from their sale has been invested in more important projects.
Last weekend I sold a very nice fly-tying station. A few years ago I got interested in fly-fishing. I have a tendency to go “all in” on things and decided I needed to learn how to make my own flies. Out in my shop, I custom made a fly-tying stand like no other. All your supplies were in one place. It has been years since I last went fly-fishing, even longer since I tied my last fly. It was time for this thing to find a new home.
When the buyer came to pick it up, I was excited. Looking at Nancy I could tell she had a different perspective. “Each time you sell something like this it feels as if you are letting a piece of you go, it makes me sad.”
I was fine moving away from these things, I simply saw them as things. In truth, I saw what I was doing as helpful. If I did not do this now, there may come a day when Nancy is left to take care of a basement full of items she knows little about. Nancy watched them leave and was grieving the changes cancer has brought upon me. Different perspectives.
ASK A CAREGIVER
It is hard for the caregiver to watch the transformation that cancer can bring upon one whom they love. They may be traveling arm in arm down the journey, their perspective will be different. If you know someone who is serving as a caregiver take a moment and ask, how they are doing? Ask for their perspective of the journey. Your question will help them as much as their answer will bless you.
Sometimes I feel the vision from my 6’ 3” height sees further than my wife’s 5’ 3” height.
But then, maybe it’s quality, not quantity, that counts.