Wrestling the sunny with the sad

I apologize for what turned into a longer-than-expected hiatus from blogging. I had really just intended to take a week or two off, to find a new direction of sorts. Now here I am, three months later, still wrestling the sunny with the sad, and feeling no farther along than when I started.

I had started this blog to share my cancer journey with friends and family, which turned into the added bonus of being a cathartic adventure of the soul. I found it much easier to explore each stop on my treatment journey in writing, and in the process maybe helping someone else as they went through their own journey, be it cancer or anything else. I find humor when I write, or rather, humor finds me. There is a delightfulness about my fingers; they cannot write about darkness without reveling in the glory of the silvery lining accompanying it. It is quite possibly a failing of mine, but I think Darwin would approve.

So here I am, three months later, still bouncing around trying to navigate post-cancer life. The reality is, people are generally kinder when frailty enters the picture. It is likely because they see themselves, a sort of ghost-of-Christmas-future moment, and so they become the person they would want someone to be for them. You get cancer and everyone around you unpacks their caring and concern and gets in line to offer their top shelf emotional modality. And then it ends. Either you end, which is not ideal, or your treatment ends, you get an “all clear” stamp of approval, and are sent back to your life to carry on, and so does everyone else.

There is a silver lining here, I promise. It’s the season of Christmas, and Hanukkah, and Tiny Tim and Red Rider Bee-bee guns, when we greet strangers with “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Hanukkah” and wish them well for no reason other than you are both traveling on intersecting paths and what the heck, it’s the holidays! Then it ends. (Noticing a theme here?) And we wonder why that feeling can’t last all year round, the glow of warm wishes and cheery thoughts. And so I wonder too, why the care and concern we express for one another when a crisis rears it’s gnarly head doesn’t last, why we don’t reach out more often, stay in touch, be better friends, siblings, parents and children, all the time.

I am as guilty as the next guy (or gal), and have an unattractive history of shirking family time in lieu of meaningless adventures that seemed irresistible at the time. Cancer was my wake-up call, my priceless lesson, my gem.

Life is now. Be present, feel it, love every moment of it, the happy and the sad, with gusto.

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  1. Thank you, always a gift of life to read your words and be carried into the what is, rather than the what will be.
    Love you Juliana Steele, your journey carries us all into a better place where life has beauty and empathy.
    You are indeed an exceptional woman, understand the gift your words bring to all of us.
    God bless you and yours.

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