Day 15: Diversions
If I had to pick one thing at the Hope Lodge that has shocked me more than anything else, it’s the amount of laugher I hear every day. You’d think it’d be a somber place, you know, with all the cancer going on, but it’s really not. The kitchen is always filled with new friends and old, family members and even staff joking around together. There always seems to be some kind of activity going on, whether it’s a yoga sessions, movie night or a trip to the grocery store. Even the van rides in the morning are surprisingly cheerful, though I can’t say I contribute much to that. I don’t think I’m physically capable of smiling before 9 AM.
I used to be a big believer in talking things out to make them better. If there was something bothering you, the best and only way to make the problem go away was to talk, talk, talk it away. That was before I had real problems. Obviously, some things need to be discussed, problems like “Hmmm, suicide’s sounding pretty good these days” and “Son, I, your father, am actually your biological mother but became your father after a sketchy, yet affordable procedure performed in Bangkok.” But for problems like what I and my fellow patients here are dealing with now, words can only do so much. Dwelling isn’t a good idea. It would hardly be helpful to walk around thinking, “OhmygodIhavecancerOhmygodIhavecancerOhmygodIhavecancer.”
No, when you’re dealing with something that’s out of your control, it’s a much better idea to surround yourself with things that remind you why it’s good to be alive, like friends and family. If you don’t have those (or you’re just sick of them), might I recommend getting a Netflix account, browsing http://www.reddit.com, or – and this last one’s particularly good for you masochists out there – delude yourself into thinking the Mets have a chance to make the post-season and root for them every day!
In sum, talking’s good, but sometimes ignoring your problems is the best way to get through them. Well, kinda.
Eleven treatments down, twenty-four to go!