Wednesday, April 22, 2015

You're sick. You're not dead

   My favorite movie of all time!  "Remember the Titans" has many lines that I enjoy quoting. One quote in particular I tweeked to fit the title of this post. 
   In the movie, Gary, the team co-captain, has become paralyzed from the waist down in an auto accident while celebrating the win that has placed the team into the State Championships. As his coach is trying to comfort him Gary says, "coach, I'm hurt I'm not dead"

   I have said it before and I will continue to say it as long as I have breath. "People do 1 of 2 things when they hear the word cancer. They put on the gloves or they pick up a shovel."
   I know cancer sucks. I know that to a man, losing libido and most ability to become aroused, seems like the loss of masculinity. Most cancer treatments take their toll as well. We suffer from fatigue, weight gain, depression, and a host of other side effects. Hot flashes are the worst but they have made me more empathetic toward my mother. Cancer is a raw deal. I get it. I live it daily. Boo hoo!! Have a good cry and get over it. Yeah that's right. Man up and grow a pair. You're sick.... You're not dead!!! 
  Those who know me best know what I went through prior to diagnosis. Two failed marriages, losing everything to drug addiction, and a failed suicide attempt, in many ways prepared me for what was coming. When I was told I would die, I already knew I wanted to live. Still, had I not recently started dating a very active and out going woman, I may have sat around feeling sorry for myself as well.
Mandy was not about to let that happen. In the beginning there was no way I wanted to be active. The truth is, it started with a simple walk. It started with a single bike ride. It started the day Mandy bought me a kayak. 
   My life began the day i thought it might end. Not because of what I did but rather in spite of it. Yes I threw fear aside the day I stepped off that bridge and plunged 60 feet into the river but Mandy was the person who insisted I get off my butt in the first place 
   There is a book out there titled "Cancer as a turning point" it goes into much more detail about this subject than my blog ever will but the point is this. You may die of cancer but your not dead yet. Are you willing to waste the time you have left sitting around having a pity party? 
   Last weekend I met a 32 year old with a toddler who is fighting stage 4 breast cancer. She is also a patient advocate and blogger. IMO she has every right to feel sorry for herself but she doesn't. I met a woman in her early 30's who has had a double hip replacement and is a triathlete. I met guys with H.I.V. Who are out there working every day for others. 
   P.Ca. Is no picnic. I know that. Late stage is worse. It can be frustrating and humiliating. It can steal what most guys consider their masculinity but to quote a friend of mine. Masculinity is between the ears and not between the legs. Most men with PCa struggle with inconvenience and that's it. Some men do have it rough and they get a free pass but for those who are simply struggling with ED and incontinence it is really time to get off the couch, grab life by the horns, and show the world what it really means to be a man.....Todd

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