"I'll focus on tomorrow. You focus on the next twenty years." That's what Tami said to me last night before bed. I have been having issues focusing and sleeping over the past two days. My mind just keeps racing. It has been just 48 hours since I got "The News", and despite having a mostly positive attitude, I'm still trying to figure out which way is up.
I'm a planner. That's my problem. I want to be sure to have a plan and be prepared for all contingencies. In this case, that also involves my demise. "Don't give up before we even get started." Another nudge from my amazing wife. She's right of course. But it's so hard to think about much else. Only two days in and I haven't even had a proper oncology appointment yet. For Tami, that means that we don't know what we don't know, so the only thing we should focus on is the next 24 hours. After a brief dialog about how I don't want to squander time just in case I get more bad news next week, and that I'm not focusing on the the end, it's just the only thing I can plan on without any more information, she ends with a single bit of advice. "I'll focus on tomorrow. You focus on the next twenty years."
When I hear it, I'm amazing at it's simplicity. It gives me an actual goal. Something I can count to. 20. Everything I've been reading focuses on 1 year or 5 years with cancer. While I understand the necessity of those numbers, they don't work for me right now. 20 is something I can get behind. It's not tied to remission rates or survivor statistics. In fact it has nothing to do with cancer at all. It let me look beyond the next few frightening months. And it worked like a charm. I fell right asleep.
Now that I've had a chance to shake off the cobwebs of the night, her statement clings onto my brain like a dryer sheet stuck in the leg of your sweatpants. The rational part of me realizes that it would be a fools errand to only focus 20 years out. But it's easier for me to wade through the noise in my head now. I started diagramming out everything that we need to start thinking about. Short AND long term. This planning and organizing helps take my mind off of the immediate uncertainty oddly enough. I've got a mind map started, and I decided to start this blog. It's a repurposing of my old (and hardly updated) security blog.
I can't honestly say how much I'll update this thing. But it seems as though I may have a lot to say now that my life has changed in a pretty dramatic way. So check back from time to time.