So much of our lives seem to be spent in wanting – wanting a better job, wanting a better car, wanting a bigger house, wanting more friends, better friends or more time with friends and family. Instead of adjusting our desire to our current reality, we want something more or different. Throughout my life I have been as guilty of that as anyone, rushing through each phase of live looking only at the destination instead of savoring every moment of the journey.
More than anything, wanting my spotless health record back would top my list of desires right now. But I know that will never happen. I know every day will be spotted with thoughts of melanoma – some days with more spots than others. Some days may appear like the white dog with one black spot around its eye, others spotted like a Dalmatian and still others obliterated with spots to the point of a black lab. All the wanting in the world will not remove those spots of concern from my mind any more than they could be scrubbed from a dog. So, I can want or I can live knowing that what I have at this moment is the most I will get and its up to me to make it the best it can become.
A friend of mine asked about my melanoma and a recent lipoma I discovered – which is going to be removed as a safeguard (to be sure we don’t miss anything) – wondering if my diagnosis is constantly on my mind. It’s always in the background, kind of like the new white noise in my life, playing quietly until something turns up the volume, but it doesn’t block out the melody of everyday living.
I attribute some of that to the clinical trial I am going through. The fact that I am doing whatever is possible to alter the path set before me is a comfort. Beside the trial, I study the contents of everything I eat, weighing the impact it will have on my ability to fight this disease. True, I might want to run like I used to without treatment side-effects throwing me for an occasional, painful loop. I might want to eat everything I used to without a second thought. I might want to have an extra glass of wine or a piece of candy without wondering if it’s planting some melanoma guerrillas in my system that will set up camp until it has amassed an army. But I also want to live to see my sons get married, to watch my grandsons play sports, to celebrate holidays and birthdays and every moment in between with my family and closest friends.
Wanting something other than what is before us makes life less than it should be every waking moment. I have been blessed with tremendous health and fitness throughout my life and even now with the dark spot of melanoma creating white noise in my life, I try my best to roll with each cancerous punch. The treatments have provided hurdles, but nothing more than an obstacle to be cleared at the moment. I don’t know the long-range effects of Yervoy, but I am helping provide an answer for that. I know its giving me my best chance at living with the white pup with one black spot around its eye – how could I want for anything more than that?