Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Other Life

Still Life with a Curtain / Paul Cezanne, 1895

Earlier this month Marie posed an invitation to her readers to discuss their "other" or real lives. At the time I posted something to the effect of "it's all there." I said this totally without irony or sarcasm.

That's how deeply I feel about writing. Every time I put together a post, or an article, I am all there. What I think, what I value, the words I choose, the topics that matter to me. That's truly who I am, before cancer, after cancer, during cancer, without cancer.  That's my voice. Cancer's run a parallel path throughout my life, which I wrote about in some detail in other essays and discussed on the SIRIUS XM program, "Dr. Radio" with NY Langonne Medical Center oncologists Abe Chachoua ("Dr. Handsome") and Silvia Fomenti. The fact is I can no longer separate cancer as a distinct entity any more than I could write about life and leave out my husband, my sister, or my friends.

Through Twitter and Facebook -- you all know I cycle, that I adore my dog, that I'm a Stephen Minister and a lot of other things. A good afternoon is one in a museum, or hiking, or cycling in a competent pack on a cool, crisp day. Nothing better. I quilt when I have time, but I haven't had time for awhile now. I'm an occasional cook (and a good one) who lives in Texas and complains relentlessly about the heat. Second to writing is reading, and I love to travel. Both stir the mind and stirring things up is good for the soul. It's how I hang.

A deeper thread to the story is right here, my husband Steve's cancer story. This was written before his most recent recurrence, a process that involved extensive plastic surgery that kept a "flap" of skin in place securing his ear to his neck for some three months. He says my cancer made his seem like the flu and I say his made mine seem like a walk in the park. What I can tell you is this: his stitches were removed early in June and two weeks later he competed in the Senior Olympics here in Houston. That's cool.
So now I see I have started my entry about why I won't write about my other life. When I write you, this IS my life:)  All I can say if make sure it's about love.  That's why we're here.



Nancy's Point said...

Jody, What a great post and one I totally relate to. As it is for you, writing is a huge component of my other life too. When I read your words, I always know I am getting a sampling of the "real" Jody. I like that.

Also, I'm so glad your hubby is doing well. It seems unimaginable you have both had cancer...

Annemieke said...

Hi Jody,

Another amazing blog, i totally understand what you are saying. I do believe writing is a big part of your life and you do an amazing job. You always manage to perfectly balance facts with personal experiences, thus making a piece well worth reading. I think both your encounters with cancer where pretty intense and it shows what amazing people you both are to adres it that way. So very happy Steve is doing as well as might be expected. Keep up the writing, that big part of your live. Big hug, Annemieke

Beth L. Gainer said...

Jody, excellent posting. Yes, there's not a day I don't think about cancer, and while it doesn't define us, it never leaves us.

Jody said...

Thanks for your comments, friends:)

I wish I could say that in "my other life" I spoke ten languages and performed brain surgery...but what you see is what you get:)

You all are great,

katie ford hall said...

Yep, you seem like a no surprises kind of gal. That's why I like you. :)

Jody said...

The best surprise is no surprise! Thanks, Katie. Given that I used to completely confound people that means a lot:) An early boss said I was "mysterious" and I thought that was really neat -- LOL! No more,
jms said...

The only new thing I learned is that you're a Stephens Minister. I'm not surprised because you use your cancer advocacy to minister and you minister to those of us with cancer. In a perfect world, there would be no more cancer and we would steep ourselves in culture, hiking and loving our dogs. In a perfect world, I would be a great cyclist, especially since I live on one of "the" training roads in Texas.

Thank you, sweet friend.

Anonymous said... always..thanks for sharing this with us x

Jody said...

We all do support and help each other through our mutual journeys. I'm so fortunate that you are part of mine.


The Accidental Amazon said...

I lurve you, Roomie. And I so understand.

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