Sunday, May 13, 2012

18. Brave

Tangentially related... but it does look like an awesome summer movie, right?
I've had a lot of people in the past month or two tell me how brave they think I am. Based on how I'm handling my cancer diagnosis and treatment.

And while I certainly appreciate the compliment and don't mind hearing it, I have to admit I don't feel particularly brave. I'm just kinda turning into the skid. My other choice was to become a misanthropic grumpy bastard, and honestly, I've already done that. A lot. Without cancer.

So I handle cancer with my sense of humor and by doing my best not to let it totally upset my life. I'm not thrilled at how I've had to step back at work, or had to minimize my already minimal tasks at home, or not be able to help out friends or even sometimes go out with friends because I'm too tired, too pained or too weak. But everybody keeps telling me they understand, and I choose to believe them.

The truth is, though, my "bravery" is entirely selfish. I'm fighting this cancer so I can stay in this life with my wife. So I can see my kids grow up. So I can see my business continue to grow and thrive, so I can spend more time with my awesome and widespread group of friends and family. So I can (let's be honest) eat really, really unhealthy yet delicious food for years to come. So I can watch more TV and movies, read more comics and books and listen to more music.

Mostly, though, it's about my kids. I'm gonna fight this as hard as I can because I love my kids and I don't like to think of them without a dad. And really, that's not bravery. Anyone who wouldn't fight the devil himself for their kids doesn't really understand what parenting is all about.

By the way, a typo almost named this post "Grave." Which would've been kind of hilariously dark.


Cucuy Johnson said...

Oh, Randy Hardlander! This post made me tear up. Doing scary shit even though it scares you because the cause is worth it is pretty much the definition of bravery. So shut up, take your compliments, take our love and get the fuck better.

Lucretia said...

In my world, bravery is defined by being smart enough to be scared by something, but doing it anyways... So you've got that part down.

That said, one thing a friend of mine said about her own trials sticks in my mind when I read this "everyone always says I'm so strong and so brave... And all I can think is 'it's not really like I have another option, I'm just dealing with the hand I've been dealt.'"

Still, it's amazing the things we never knew we could face without hesitation until we became parents, did we. Hang in there my friend... You'll still have those cranky days. But now you'll have some good excuses for them! :)

amcquitty said...

Randy, David Hardie told me about your battle and I really loved reading your blog. "Turning into the skid" really is an accurate description of what we must do when the big C makes us suddenly slide out of control. I've been there too. Stage 4 colon cancer. Two major surgeries. 18 months of FOLFOX chemo. From that perspective, I do affirm your courage in facing this bravely and well! If you'd be interested in some things I wrote when going through the valley, I'd be happy to share (just email me at . .All the best as you fight the good fight!