Lessons Learned Kicking Cancer's Butt - Part 2
Sometimes when I think back on my life, I just start laughing because there have been so many moments that felt like I was in an episode of “Seinfeld”. Like the time as a young pup when I MIGHT have had one drink too many at the holiday office party (Please, don’t ever do that. Business 101) and MIGHT have fallen off the Central Park trolley...while it was moving (Not my proudest moment...it’s okay to laugh. I’m laughing out loud at this very moment thinking about it. Let me be a lesson to all of you young grasshoppers).
Speaking of other “Seinfeld” moments, I finally made it to that Head & Neck surgeon (If you are just joining us here at The School of Betty, read Part 1 here) and it did not disappoint by sitcom comedic standards.
LESSON #2 I learned kicking cancer’s butt: YOU CAN GET THROUGH ANYTHING WITH A FEW DEEP BREATHS.
I knew I was going to need a biopsy, but I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant (maybe I was behind, but I hadn't yet gone down the WebMD rabbit hole). So naturally, I went to my appointment by myself. In fact, I’m pretty sure I went during my lunch hour because, that’s what you do when you are 23 and have NO.IDEA.WHATSOEVER what you are doing. I didn’t catch on to the fact that I probably should have brought someone until the receptionist called me “Dear” and asked, with a hint of worry, if I was alone (Thankfully I didn’t believe in true life foreshadowing).
I went in and met the doctor and started answering his questions. I wouldn’t say I had a strong sense of myself or my health history, but I answered the best I could. And then he just got right to it.
DOCTOR: “Yeah, so we need to biopsy that.”
ME: “Okay. So, when should we schedule that?”
DOCTOR: “Oh, we’ll just do it right now! It’s easy.”
...yeah...easy for you to say doc. I'm sweating now. Like maybe I ate something bad.
ME: “Um…okay. Uh...can you tell me how you do it? I’m assuming I’ll be okay to go back to work?”
I'm pretty sure this is what started my future need to KNOW what is going to happen. Thanks Doc!
DOCTOR: “Oh yeah! We just use a needle. You’ll just feel a pinch.”
….I mean I wasn’t REALLY okay with it but what do you do?
He took me into the room across the hall and had me lay down on a table. It kinda felt like the dentist office. Comforting (I kid).
Let me just tell you that “said needle” looked more like a lightsaber. It was not small people. NOT.SMALL. Kramer is supposed to run in now right? It looked ridiculous...like Jerry’s pirate shirt. Unfortunately, he wasn't joking. I was trying to figure out how THAT thing was only going to PINCH. I looked towards the opposite wall of the office so I couldn’t see Darth Vader coming for me and did the only thing I could think of: I took deep breaths. DEEP BREATHS. And I haven't stopped since.
Those breaths, are what slow me down when I feel in a panic. They bring me back down to earth when I’m so excited I could do the splits (for the record I can’t even get close to doing the splits). They calm my nerves on take off. They help me hold back tears when I don’t want to cry and dissolve my anger when I want to scream. When I am scared, they remind me that it is useless to worry about the things I can’t control.
DEEP BREATHS will get you through anything because you are stronger than you think you are. It’s the cheapest therapy or life coach you’ll ever find. It’s right there, in your body, waiting to be exhaled.
Livin’ & Lovin’
Special Note: On Sunday morning our Denver community lost an amazing bright soul at 42 to cancer. Daniel Langhoff was a staple in the theatrical community here and leaves behind a loving wife, a 2 year old daughter and a 10 day old daughter. He fought incredibly hard with laughter and optimism and gusto. If you feel the urge to give, even $1, his family is need of support. You can click here. Please mention Daniel Langhoff in the notes section.