“You should write a blog about cancer”. If I had a nickel for every time I have heard that statement over the past 6 years. My reply, “No, thank you.” When in all actuality, I wanted to respond, “Heck no!” You see as a cancer survivor I want to stay away from all things cancer. Maybe it’s fear, maybe it’s too heavy, maybe I just don’t want to go back there. You see, I didn’t survive cancer to live with it anymore. I survived cancer to grow old with my husband and children and to live life to the fullest. Stuff to do you see. People to meet.
When I was going through treatment, I was challenged by a former chemo buddy of 70 years of age to write down everything I wanted to do in life and “Go for it”. It was a bucket list- long before the movie. He wasn’t going to survive and knew it and told me his only regret was talking himself out of doing things. He recognized that he was his own biggest obstacle standing in the way of accomplishing his goals. So fast forward 6 years and I was standing over a young patient that had died (I’m a nurse), and suddenly I felt flush and realized that I had done very few things on my bucket list. I was granted 6 more years yet hadn’t done all that I could have done. Not to sound like an old Army commercial with “Be all you can be” but I was granted 6 more years than my chemo buddy and I hadn’t done much of what I promised (him or myself) I would.
No longer. No longer am I going to stand in the way of myself accomplishing these 1300+ items. Will I accomplish them all? Perhaps not- but not on the account for lack of effort, money, or self-doubt. Will I be accomplished in all that I set out to do? No- but I have a great sense of humor and ability to laugh at myself along the way. Will I add more and take some things away? Yep. Why? Because it’s my list. I’m in control of my choices, actions, experiences, and attitude. At least that is what I am teaching my children, so isn’t it important that I be a visual example?
Some of the items are simple like learning how to do a backflip on a trampoline or making 52 different cupcakes in one year. Others will require time, money, and opportunity like flying with the Thunderbirds, climbing Machu Pichu, or having a family portrait in front of the Eiffel Tower. And some are just plain weird to others, but I am kind of a nerd and I’m really ok with that. After 37 years, I have embraced my nerdiness and quirky sense of adventure. But I will learn, grow, smile, and laugh at myself along the way. You can see a small portion of my list here — I will learn about places, foods, cultures, sports, traditions, holidays, etc. I will cross them off my list and journal, take pictures, and video as I go. Am I a photoshop, video, photography pro? Nope- but I will learn, as will you. I have an insatiable love of learning and would love to teach you along the way during this journey. The most important thing I can do is take the first step. I hope you follow along and if there is something just utterly amazing that you think I should accomplish or set my sights on before I leave this Earth, please drop me a line. The most important thing is to just start and learn as I go. So here I go taking the first step, so learn with me… learn with Jenny.