So I have made it a habit of stating on the 1st of November that I don’t do lung cancer awareness month. That not only every month but every day is all about lung cancer chez Linnea. Make that every moment. Each breath.
Yeah. I don’t like the word survivor either. I am surviving; a verb, not a noun. And frankly, by the skin of my teeth. No winner’s circle here. Whatever sort of race this is, I am still in the thick of it. In fact, one of my mantras is that if I just keep moving…I’ll just keep moving.
Lung cancer. I kind of view it like some sort of play. I’ve been showing up for practice for almost fifteen years now even though my part really sucks. However, I am only too aware that others, with equally shitty billing, had shorter runs.
I know I can’t complain. And that honoring my commitments is my only attractive option. This November is going to be one for the books–in terms of performances.
Today we began moving into our space for the House of Redemption. By the end of next week I hope to have my studio set up, so that I can get back to making art.
On November 14 I see Alice again and my guess is we are pulling the trigger on chemo–time to up my vascular consumption of platinum. My TEDX talk is on November 23. I have signed on as a consultant for Novartis per patient centricity starting November one and will be serving on a panel for Takeda in mid November discussing the very same topic. On November 16 my oldest child turns 35 (!) and on November 26, I will ease on over into my sixth decade. Yessiree bob, I am turning sixty. Hallelujah! And of course, there is Thanksgiving, a holiday fraught with meaning. I was born on Thanksgiving and my father Ollie died on Thanksgiving. And all those Thanksgivings in Marfa—an incredibly fond memory from the years I was married. Heavy, this holiday.
I suppose this all means that despite my disregard bordering on disdain for something like a month devoted to awareness, I will show up for November as well. Play my part. Represent.
Because those who can, should.
Well your life is certainly busy!!! And interesting.
I couldn’t agree more, Linnea. We all have our unique ways of relating to this condition. I’ve chosen to adopt an athletic mindset, treating this journey as the Olympics of healing. “Athlete” is so much more empowering than survivor, a term I also dislike. I refer to us as “Alkletes” because war language is so utterly foreign to my life experience. Healing and atheistic performance is much more cozy and familiar and positive. I hope to be like you … thriving for a nice long run, inner pilot light burning brightly into the unknow!
Linnea, this seems to me to be the most outstanding piece you have written. Thank you for writing and sharing. ❤️Nancy
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