World Cancer Day
... you can't judge a book by its cover.
Today is World Cancer Day. My name is Paul and I am a survivor - 15 plus years now.
First, I want say my heart goes out to all who have been impacted by any one of the many, many types of cancer. I know first hand how hard it is.
I've experienced it and lost five good guys I grew up with, the closest friends of my youth. Why I'm still here and they are not, I do not know. I only know I miss them. We were a motley band of brothers blessed with many wonderful moments.
It's hard when you find out it's you, it's hard if you are a family member or a friend feeling helpless in many ways. And it's so hard when we lose loved ones. I think that is something that almost all of us have in some way experienced now.
Saying goodbye too soon is the hardest thing ever.
Life is sacred. Life is precious. Life is far too short.
I want to express my gratitude to all of the incredibly dedicated people that work every day in so many fields of study and practice to help, both conventional and alternative.
There is no one "right" way to treat these cancers - and that is the simple truth. It's not a one size fits all equation. So thank you to all.
I'm writing on Substack now, very slowly working on a new book called Forest of Faith. It has much to do with what I have learned about healing over the course of what will soon be 67 years here.
And it will have a fair amount in it about my journey with prostate cancer. That's not an easy thing for a guy to write fully open and honestly about in any context, but I'm going to try in the hopes that it will help someone somewhere down the line.
I'm trying to somehow wrap it and my life story in a bow of humour and pathos without being maudlin or pretentious.
That's no easy feat for a writer whose memory and ability is scant what it used to be and who has struggled greatly with the pandemic. It's added much stress. I'm very scattered now at times.
But I am well aware of how fortunate and privileged I've been in this life. I have been for a long time; privileged by the colour of my skin, my gender, the country of my birth, the family I was born into, and more.
I tried to make a difference by working towards a more equitable and decent society despite my flaws and failings, the biases and blind spots in my thinking.
And I'm going to keep trying, day by day, step by step, learning as I go, trying to be a better human being.
So to all who are hurting on this day, wherever you are, whatever you are dealing with, and God knows it is a lot, I'm with you in spirit, if not in person.
May the memories of our loved ones live forever in our hearts.
The better angel of my imperfect self prays you find peace and healing however it may come to be.