May 11, 2013

10 Things Cancer Taught Me - by Les Lent

I've ended week one of my first chemo cycle. This is the first time I've logged on to my laptop all week. It's been rough. I'm hoping I'm up for writing a post or two tomorrow. 

In the mean time, my friend sent me a link to her friend, Les' blog. Les recently came out on the other side of cancer, a place I can't get to fast enough! I just had to share Les' post as I believe it will allow others to draw some understanding when it comes to dealing with "chemo heads" such as myself. 

Thank you, Les Lent! 

10 Things Cancer Taught Me

Where I’ve Been
Those of you who read this blog (I know there’s at least a few of you) may have been wondering where I’ve been and why my last post is so terribly old. Well shortly after I wrote it I was diagnosed with a form of cancer—Follicular Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma to be exact. Bad news. Good news—it’s 100% curable. As of this writing I have finished all treatments (chemo and radiation) and I’m now in what we cancer survivors call “survivor-ship”.
When I was initially diagnosed I decided to inform my immediate family and a few close friends. I also told existing clients and a few prospects I had at the time. The reason for doing this was obvious. I had no clue how the course of treatment would impact my ability to travel and work. Being self employed I didn’t see any option other than muscle through it and hope for the best. ‘Hope’ by the way is a great frame of mind but a poor strategy. As one would expect all of my clients were gracious and genuinely supportive. Everyone in my entire network; personal, professional, friends and family offered emotional and physical support.
What I’ve Learned
So now you know the back-story. I’ve learned a number of things about others and myself during the past 12 months—some profound and some a little embarrassing. In no particular order:
1. When people you trust offer to help when you need it you should take it!
2. I don’t have an “S” on my chest. Nobody does.
3. When someone you trust offers advise that sounds solid—it is. You should probably take it.
4. Chemo therapy can make you a little nutty.
5. People’s capacity for forgiveness is truly amazing. See number 4.
6. The line between personal and professional relationships is fuzzy and that’s a good thing.
7. Life is very short and full of surprises both good and bad.  Don’t put important things on the back burner. You don’t know when you’re going to run out of gas.
8. Mental health is just as important as physical health. You need both.
9. Cancer sucks. It impacts everyone and there is no place to hide.
10. Attitude is everything. But you already knew that.
So What’s Next…
Over the course of the next few months I will put out a series of web based training modules and a book. In the mean time I’m recommitted to pushing out content—hopefully valuable content—on this page. Look for a fresh look in the coming months.
On a final note I wish to thank all of the people who have helped me, encouraged me, loved me, picked me up and tolerated me over the past year. I couldn’t have survived without you.
(by Les Lent)

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