Never look too much in to future!
Thinking about tomorrow can be seen as forward thinking, proactive, planning for future by everyone. It works well for most, but not when you are dealing with an incurable brain tumour. Yes, scientifically all brain tumours have chance to return at some point. Everyone that has brain tumour knows this phrase very well "Its not a question of IF, it's a question of WHEN", so we all are prepared for something to go wrong at some point in future.
Now given we know something will happen to us in future, do we stop worrying about future? The most annoying thing I hear from the many is "live for today", "stay in the moment", "don't worry about future"...but this is a big pile of crap usually comes from people who have no experience of dealing with life changing disease or have experience living with someone going through it. But I understand why they do it, they want to give some comfort to us, so they say these things without realising what it means to us who are stuck in a life full of uncertainties.
Ok, so how can someone enjoy the present even though you need to think of the future? simple answer is - No you cannot stop thinking about future. Fortunately/ Unfortunately "thinking" helped us evolve from apes to humans. so if we were not forward thinking, we would have never made it this far. All the innovations, technology that we enjoy today is a result of someone thinking ahead of time and thinking of future. Today we are thinking of flying tourists to space, colonising mars, automatic cars and what not? all of these are luxury of someone thinking about the future. Without the "thinkers" we cannot even imagine how life will be for us. To this, add all the medical inventions, advancements in treatments and it clearly indicates we need people to think of the future to ensure we can survive and also thrive when we are challenged!
I am heading in for another surgery soon, though this is not ideal but this was going to happen sometime which I was always aware of. Almost 3 years back after my 1st surgery, I was told the tumour can always return. I was put in MRI scans every 3 months as surveillance. I used to joke like "I live on 3 monthly prepaid plan" that basically extends when I get a clear scan. It wasn't easy to adjust life to live in this way, but it's amazing how we can adapt to life challenges when we get the right support and focus on the problem in a rationale way. I got plenty of support from my wife, who always believes in my judgement and decisions which makes it easier for me to move forward knowing I am in the right direction.
So what did I do in the 3 years between the 1st surgery and now? Yes I lived my life in fear, disappointment, frustration, anxiety, anger and all possible emotions that can be associated to someone who is having tough time with life. But I also do NOT fail to acknowledge some great HAPPY moments in my life which made me feel thankful for living the life.
so what kept me going?
Family/Friends: I realised it very quickly that I was so lucky to have a good family around me who knew what I was going through and they let me do my things. Friends always checked on me about scans, results, treatments etc. some of them hardly understand the terms I say to them, but they kept checking on me which was so nice of them. Also It made learn that I got to spend time with the important people who care for me and not to bother the ones who don't want to join me in my journey.
Job: Initially I was worried I could never work after surgery, but I found a job that suited my expectations - It was Challenging, Pays reasonably well, Great team, No commute [I will write another post specific about remote working, this is my favourite topic]. Also the job "trusts" me and my skills which helps me a lot.
Passion: Right from childhood, I always played multiple sports and always preferred being outdoors. So it was easy to choose the sport that I most played/watched/talked - Cricket. I started involving myself with coaching junior players in cricket, at the same time my son started playing too so it was easier to get involved. I thoroughly enjoyed spending quality time with 8-12 year olds who gave me plenty of smiles, kept me fresh in mind. At times it was difficult to organise training, games given my troubles with remembering names of kids etc but I didn't let any of this affect my confidence and will. I passed my coaching certifications (Level2 ECB) that allows me to coach adults too. Recently I was given best volunteer award in "Grassroots-Growing the game" category at County level. I feel this is massive reward for my time and effort.
None of this was/ is easy, but if you put your thoughts in to perspective it makes you feel a little better. I am happy for what I have today, If I am worse off tomorrow then so be it and I will find a way to handle the situation.