A lot of people keep telling me they're amazed at how positive I've remained through this all. Frankly, I'm not sure what other choice there is. Yeah, my body has taken a beating over the past two months between the surgery and chemo. When I say I'm feeling good these days, that means something a lot different than it did six months ago. I can look in the mirror and see the toll it is taking.
As taxing as it has been, at no point did I feel I couldn't get through it. In the grand scheme of things, it's not that bad – and certainly not compared to the alternatives.
In that sense, I've been thinking a lot about adversity. I think my ability to deal with this comes from playing sports. Sports, like life, are full of crushing defeats, victories (both small and glorious) and a lot of hard work (the "time and effort") in between. Having participated in sports from a very young age, I've learned that when you invest yourself in a positive way, things have a tendency to work out better in the end – even if they seem to suck while you're going through it. My body felt pretty banged up towards the end of a football or wrestling season, but I eventually bounced back, just like I know I'll bounce back at the end of this.
To quote Harold & Kumar, "the universe tends to unfold as it should". That's not to say that things will always work out as you planned, but ultimately I do believe that if you invest yourself fully and positively then things will work out in a good way. (Conversely, I think if you're not fully invested, then you should stop doing whatever you're doing because it's just a waste of time.)
There are similar parallels with building a business, and one reason I find being an entrepreneur so rewarding. The road is paved with ups and downs. It's easy to get discouraged when things don't progress as smoothly as you would have liked, but I believe that if you're approaching it in the right way you will a return on that investment. Of course, those returns can manifest themselves in different ways – and it doesn't mean my business will necessarily be successful – but it does mean I will have been better off for doing it.
Adversity isn't a bad thing – I see it as necessary to personal improvement. Just as you need to push yourself when working out to see gains, sometimes you need to test your character and resolve. Adversity builds character and makes us stronger.
Personally, I welcome the opportunity. Bring it on, cancer.
Cross-posted on Beating My Cancer