Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Does Altruism Exist?

I'm sitting at the JFK waiting to fly back home and wondering to myself how I got so fortunate in life. I just spent the night (as I usually do) with my friends Nate and Miraim, and baby Sol of course, and just being around them is calming, and fun, we talk about everything. It's engaging and energizing, and refreshing, and fills me with joy. Flash to today where Sol, Miriam and I met up with our friend John (Steph was stuck at work) for lunch and again it's the most invigorating, expressive, comprehensive friendship. How did I get so lucky to live this life and be surrounded by such amazing humans? These beautiful souls who think deeply, whose hearts are profoundly touched by human suffering or the human cause. I think they all see themselves as just normal people, but I see them as the glue that keeps humanity real, and kind. I hear their words, as they talk on any subject, and they care. They have such huge hearts, it's the most lovely thing.

The shot went well, fabulously well, Dr Germany said something along the lines of, "We're on a winning team" in reference to my protocol. Man that's a fantastic thing to hear. I don't know why I get to live this - I don't even have a good word for it - blessed life, but I am grateful for every second. And along with living a life that is true to me, and my evolving views, I will also continue my mission to help other tumor patients achieve health, and longevity.

The bandaid peaking out reminds me of today's life giving treatment

The thought has crossed my mind that now I'm stable, I could say screw it and just go live my life (while obviously continuing my treatments). I could stop blogging. I could unconnect from social media and just garden, or find a career that could withstand my seizures, and time off to travel for treatments. I could turn my back on the brain tumor world and focus on anything, or everything, else. I could just spend my time in an unrelated field, or focus on other endeavors, but the truth is that I feel the need to pay it forward. I am driven, compelled, to help others who are just starting their journey, or perhaps are dealing with a relapse/recurrence. I could not turn my back on family, and that's who you all are. You are my brain tumor family, and I will not abandon you. It would be easier, probably, and less emotional, less stressful, but who would I be if I didn't help those in need? It's not the kind of person I want to be. We all have choices every moment of every day about who we are and how we're going to live our lives. I have somehow navigated my way through this crazy diagnosis, and although I'm not guaranteed tumor stability for life, with this path that I'm on, it's working for now and I know I can help others. I've done it and will happily continue. It's actually even selfish sometimes because it makes me feel good when I talk to another brain tumor diagnosees and help them figure out their own plan, because everyone is different. Each brain tumor patient can blaze their own path; they can take little bits here, and little bits there, from other patients who have been successful. When I see, or hear in their voice, the determination to live, it fuels me. When I share what I know, or connect them with others who can also give valuable information, I feel intrinsically good. Is there such a thing as altruism? I really don't know.

So, even though I worry about you guys, all my tumor friends, crying for you at times, I wouldn't change a thing about the responsibility to help. I know this is a choice. I see pieces of myself in you, I know your struggles, I know your fears. Know that I'm here, and I will help you in any way I can.

2 comments:

  1. I love your attitude about EVERYTHING! Even if you hit a lower spot at times. You're real. You're human. You're LIVING!

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  2. We are so incredibly grateful for our friendship with you. You are the embodiment of altruism. Always wonderful to learn and share with you (and Miriam and delicious, baby Sol!).

    ReplyDelete

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