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Living As If

Posted 5/17/2016

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  I had thought I coined the phrase, living as if, but that seems not to be so. My definition, however, is a bit different than the one used in this essay. For me, living as if means to live as though the cancer is gone forever. For any of us, that may or may not turn out to be true, but living that way is surely the path to a better quality of life than living in constant anxiety about the possible future.

  The author here uses the term to describe living as though cancer had never happened. First, I think that would be really hard to do. Especially for those of us whose bodies have been irrevocably and obviously changed (and not for the better) the reminder is there daily Second, I believe in honoring the experience and the courage and the grit that it took each of us to get through those months. Trying to erase those memories is trying to diminish some very fine parts of your character. As you have heard (or read) me say before, I will never be one of those people who claims that cancer was a gift or a blessing

  But cancer is a forced opportunity to take stock of life, to think about what is truly important and shift perspectives and choices for a better fit.

Living As If: Life Without Cancer

Mike Verano

“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.”
-William James
Six years in to cancer recovery, I'm not able to say that I really remember what life was like before cancer. In my mind I have dreamy images of a life filled with sunny days and hardly a care. Back then, body aches were just the signs of overexertion,
doctor's appointments were for stubborn colds and the inevitable breakdowns that come with getting older. Most of all, the "C word" was just that, a word not uttered that always happened to someone else.
My rational mind knows that even before cancer my life was filled with problems, worries, challenges, victories and defeats.
Days of sunshine often gave way to dark and stormy moods. All in all, life before cancer was not that different from life after the diagnosis, with one great exception: now I have the realization that the bubble of existence could pop at any moment.
This awareness of the fragility of life, which I've come to see as transformative (the pearl in the muck of this disease), does not always provide a peaceful, easy feeling. While it has driven me deeper into my personal studies into the nature of who and what I am, it can also be a royal pain in the butt. During these times, when I've had it with the existential dilemmas, the metaphysical
wrestling match between mind and spirit, I practice the technique that I call living as if.

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  • jaqueth hutchinson said:
    6/6/2016 6:08 PM

    this blog is wonderful. WHy havent I read it before?? Straightforward. Full of life.