I’m devastated. An incredible young lady who I watched grow from an adolescent into adulthood and then motherhood posted a devastating thread on Facebook. She has been fighting against cancer for a long time. She’s shared her story with others, much I have, hoping to help others who are on a similar journey. She’s a fighter but so is cancer. I’m devastated, learning of how her journey is going. I’m also amazed by her fortitude/ attitude.
Once my emotions settled down, I realized that, while updating her story, she never complained. Reading her thread a second time was like the cold slap in the face writers use to wake their characters up! I’ve been complaining, bemoaning my losses. I really have no right to complain. I’m old and have lived a full life. I have seen my children grow up and am now watching my grandchildren flourish. I have a loving wife of 43 years, a beautiful retirement home and walked around yesterday in a T-shirt as opposed to a winter coat. Really, what do I to complain about?
I’m a hypocrite. My counselor asked me what I would recommend to a patient who was in my condition. That was a very astute question. As a physician, I always offered advice/counseling on how to cope with the hand my patient was dealt. While my advice was always custom built to match the patient and his/her needs, the majority of the plans had a common foundation.
Where is my blessings list? Certainly not on my bathroom mirror where it is supposed to be. I’ve written about the blessings list many times. It’s the weight bearing part of the foundation on which I built my patient’s treatment plan. It’s born the weight of time, proving to be helpful to countless numbers of my patients. Why don’t I have one? Probably because I’ve been throwing one huge pity party for myself.
Diet and exercise are two other components that I built into every patient’s treatment plan. Why did I quit exercising in September? I could give you a multitude of reasons, but they would all be bullshit! In answering my therapist’s question, I would tell my patient, if he/she could only exercise 5 minutes a day, do 5 minutes a day until he/she could do 7 minutes a day and slowly progress. Time to get back in the gym.
That leaves diet. I’ve taken a strong stance against radical diets. I’ve watched my patients take off hundreds of pounds only to put back hundreds plus pounds. The motto in the Segal household has always been, “Go big or go home.” When it comes to diet, it should be “Go small and live to go home.” Small changes in your diet can be maintained over long periods of time. Radical changes tend not to last. In my case, I’ve simply given up. I used to tell my patients that I had double wide front doors on the office so that if I ever gave into my lust for food, I’d need to open both doors to get into the office. I was right. I gave in and now I’m massive and growing by the day.
So, it’s time to close down the pity party, post my Blessings List, resume exercise and develop a healthy diet. It’s time to focus on what I can do and not what I can’t do. If my young friend can fight the big “C” with grace and dignity, I can, too.
Yes, it’s New Year’s. I bet you thought I was going to make a New Years resolution. I’m not! I’m going to make a New Day resolution each and every day I wake up.