A Declaration for My Situation
It has been a tough month.
Two weeks ago, a doctor told me the 2.5 cm nodule in my right lung could be cancerous. On Wednesday this past week, another doctor told me “we are looking at at least Stage 1 lung cancer.” Yesterday, a third doctor (from another hospital entirely) told me that it is still too premature to say and that in her words, “a 23 non-smoker having lung cancer would be worthy of an academic paper”.
Part of me wants to yell at modern medicine to make up its goddamn mind. Another part of me is still grateful that I even have 3 professional opinions and modern medicine at all.
Today, I will check in to UC Davis hospital to remove the nodule. I’ll be there for 2 days and will definitively find out if the tumor is cancerous or benign 2–4 days after. Recovery will be 1–2 weeks (at home in Folsom, CA).
Okay… if you’ve spent more than 5 minutes with me, you know I’m a very expressive individual. My life often turns to song and dance with the world as a stage.
Perhaps it comes from the need to output the jungle happening in my mind all of the time. It’s the inevitable condition of being way too curious about the world around me.
Either way my mind has been racing faster than ever before.
It feels like all the preventative measures I’ve been taking this year against living a reactive life seem to be falling apart. Journaling is chaotic and nonsensical. Meditation actually can be painful. Reading is only possible in short controlled bursts.
Initially I was angry and sad. But anger and sadness are incredibly exhausting emotions. Somewhere along the way I ran out of emotional energy and now walk around in a state of lethargic numbness.
In my continued search for some guidance through this storm, I’ve stumbled on some sage quotes.
“My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it… but love it.” -Nietzsche
It is no secret I am bearing an enormous weight in my mind. Through my blogs, I am doing anything but concealing it. And yet it still hasn’t seemed enough.
But what if I love it?
Love cancer? What the f$%k Imaan? Are you a masochist now?
Not quite dear mind of mine. It isn’t really about the cancer. Nor is it about any one circumstance surrounding me.
It is about a mindset.
And I’m writing this as a declaration of my desire to achieve this mindset in all that I do after this surgery.
To the Imaan who’s sitting here in this moment staring at this computer screen in an overwhelming search for the right words.
To the Imaan who will look back from a future moment in gratitude for all that he is learned between now and then.
Hear me now..
I am still in love with life.
From the complex psychological abyss of this potential cancer diagnosis at 23 to the simple evolutionary beauty of these bees pollinating the flowers in our backyard and everything in between.
From the narcissistic friend who made me question my own reality this past year to the empathic mother who raised me to be empathic in my own right and everyone in between.
Love for everything and everyone. In this moment and all those to come.
“ Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” -Norman Cousins
If I am to eventually be just dust and shadow as Horace would put it, why should I feel anything but love for the moments of life I have until then?
After all in this mental sea of uncertainty, death is the only thing that I really know to be certain.
The end of a good story shouldn’t make me want more of that story. It should make me reflect and appreciate all of the moments that led up to the last act.
The end of a good life is no different for what is my life but just my own story? And this story is written through moments like this one, winding and weaving toward convergence at some final moment.
Be grateful for your moments.
Be humbled by their ephemerality.
Be determined to make your story a good one, whether it ends tomorrow or in years to come.
Oh… and if it is Cancer, go kick its ass for good measure.
Because a longer story would be a lot nicer wouldn’t it?
Click here to read the next part of my journey with cancer.
Did this article resonate with you? Let me know in the comments and give me suggestions on prompts to write in the future.
About the Author: Imaan “PapaFuegz” Taghavi is a dance entrepreneur, engineer, community builder, and the Founder of the Omni Movement. He writes blogs to share his journey and inspire you in yours.
Check out the Omni Movement:
▶ How-To “Bachata Basics” https://goo.gl/K2nfFa
▶ Can you Learn Bachata in Less than 10 Minutes? https://goo.gl/jhxtt2
▶ Dancing in the Dining Room https://goo.gl/2tckOx