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If April showers bring May flowers what do Mayflowers bring?
(Laugh track plays)
Thanks folks you’re too kind I’ll be here all night.
Corny jokes aside, this May I really am planting seeds and watching things bloom.
First on the list of seeds planted, on May 5th I’ll have the honor of delivering the keynote member address at Gilda’s Club Westchester’s 16th Annual Gala being held at the Botanical Gardens.This is my first time I’ve been invited to speak publicly about my cancer journey. I think of this as planting a seed because it feels like a new beginning is destined to spring forth from the dirt that I had to handle during treatment. With three hundred people expected and a great MC, it’s sure to be an awesome night. I have no idea what will grow from this event but as with planting literal seeds there is no way to know what will happen for sure. The secret is to nurture whatever pops up. I’ll post a video of my speech here in the future so look for more on this topic in the upcoming weeks. Wish me luck!
In the weeks to come you’ll see I have been offered several other opportunities to share with others. One of which is having an article published in Coping with Cancer magazine. Yay!! The editor says my article will appear in either the May/June or July/August issue. I wrote about how an accountability partnership helped me keep chemo in perspective based on a post that first appeared here. Now it will be shared in Oncologist Offices and Cancer Centers all over the country. Once again I’m not sure what will grow from this seed but I’m excited to see what blooms. As the article is being read by over 650,000 readers I am working to start an online accountability group here at crowdsourcingcancer.com. As I illustrated in the post you don’t have to have cancer to gain from collaborative intention setting. If you’re interested in joining a positive community for regularly scheduled goal implementation please sign up for updates or leave a comment below.
Wait, there’s more good news. I’ve also been asked to teach a class for grow! Lincoln Park community garden here in New Rochelle. No date is set yet but I’m planning for late May or mid June. The working title of the class is A Cancer Survivors Guide to Gardening. Gardening is a form of mediation for me; it also serves as gentle exercise, and an inexpensive organic food source. It was very therapeutic to spend time in my garden during chemo and I’m looking forward to it even more this season. During the month of May I’ll provide a sneak peak of some of the material from my class.
This is just what I have planted that is ready to bloom in May. June and July projects are beginning to take root as well. I’m very excited with all that is going on, known and unknown, but I also have to pace myself. I am still fighting fatigue. So my posts will come between my new ventures and the mandatory nap or two that I need to get me through busy and even not so busy days. I am blessed to have the luxury of naptime on demand now but as I learned last year each blessing is impermanent so it’s best to enjoy what you have when you have it. Don’t wait. As a matter of fact, I am going to try to catch a few winks now.
OK. I’m back from my nap. Upon reflection, with all the things going on this month I can’t help but notice how the seed metaphor goes deeper than I initially realized. Last year I only shared my diagnosis with a few people. I was happy to be anonymous. I didn’t want to be defined by illness so I hid, in the dark like a seed in soil during the long, cold, barren winter. But the mystery is the whole time I was secluded with no light, I like the seed , I was growing. I regained strength despite the barriers until one day, still small and fragile, I like the seedling began to see the light. I was nurtured and now am beginning to bloom.
Like a flower, I find that it’s imperative to my survival that I begin to welcome attention. The bright colors of the tulip, the enticing smell of the rose are the ways nature tells the story of the seed’s struggle to find the sun. If the story of the flower is not told effectively the plant will not survive. I’m telling my story through speaking engagements, magazine articles and online views for my own survival. Mentally, and spiritually my life depends on it. Who knows maybe one day I can depend on my story telling financially too.
I would have never guessed a year ago that my experience with cancer would become a large part of the story I offer the world. I wouldn’t have even guessed anyone was interested. But like a flower I am sharing not based on anyone else’s interest. I am sharing based on my own best interest. It helps me heal. Thankfully, like those who stop to smell the roses, there are people like you who are interested in what I have to offer. Thanks for reading, somehow speaking out is validated when I know someone is listening. I feel better emotionally and physically with each blog post I write and comment I receive. I wonder if the fact that flowers thrive under the care of attentive gardner is in any way related.