Have you ever stopped to look at your net worth? Not just your financial net worth but your life net worth; your family, friends, life style, community, health, etc. All the things you have going for you. Most of us tend to measure our lives in terms of our ability to get more of what we want as opposed to recognizing (enjoying?) what we already have. I certainly spent years guilty of that.
Sometimes it takes a losing what we have to recognize the privilege of even having it in the first place. Nothing I can think of causes you to value your life net worth faster than the idea that it all can all be taken away. In my case the wake-up call was cancer but it could be the loss of lifetime spouse or friend; financial, business or reputation ruin; or other debilitating health issues (Alzheimer’s scares the crap out of me). In the recent months I’ve lost 3 friends to cancer. One lifetime spouse summed up the impact best in 4 word “my world is undone”.
OK, so what’s my point? Take inventory of all you have? Acknowledge it and be thankful for it? Like I’m the first person to ever write that. And by the way….who am I to be lecturing anyone? Not a day goes by that I don’t have “I want” complaints about getting my health back or getting back to running. I think my point is, for me, it doesn’t have to be all one way or the other, just a balance of having goals and at the same time acknowledging what I have.
Speaking of my health, I have been avoiding doing an update until I had more specific news. Mostly over the last 6 months I been dealing with the fallout of the chemo, the stem cell transplant, the drugs to deal with the side effects. I won’t go into a litany of all the little things but the effects of steroids have really pissed me off. Besides looking like the Pillsbury dough boy (bald and puffy), and muscle weakness, the skin on my arms and legs is so thin that any bump or scratch causes a purple hematoma or an outright bleeding wound. I look like I lost a wrestling match with a weed wacker. I got off the steroids for a short period but my adrenal gland didn’t kick back in and my cortisol levels dropped to effectively non-existent so back on the steroids.
That said, I’m doing good. Latest biopsy results this month (just less than a year from my transplant date) showed 100% donor cells (great news) and no apparent sign of Leukemia. Odds of a relapse have now dropped from 50% to 20%. I’ll take those odds.
Which is a good lead in to remind me to keep looking at what I have, not what I’ve lost. My story could easily be the same as the friends I’ve lost. When I take inventory on what I have… my loving wife, awesome family, close friends, my recovery, a great spiritual community…I am truly a blessed man.
It also reminds me to look at what others don’t have or have lost. Compared to others, today for us may be (as the song goes) “another day for you and me in paradise”. Through the childrens’ hospital visits for Help in the Nick of Time I have seen firsthand how difficult (heart rending) things can get. Bad as things may seem at times, there are lots of people who would swap places with us.
I’m learning to balance the “I want” with the “I have” one day at a time.