Dan Duffy, President The Half Fund
No one ever thinks they will hear the words, "You have cancer." Most of us live our existence day to day, either dragged down by the drudgery, lifted up by the little niceties of people or nature or the welcome but rare "making-every-single-green-light" on the way to work, or somewhere in between. Often, life throws you curves, and many of us roll with the punches.
But cancer is not a punch. It's a kick in the head with an iron boot, and life irreversibly changes once the three words are imbibed into our auditory senses.
So what do we do? How do we handle it? What do we even call it? A war? A journey? Neither? Depends on the day and the moment you catch me?
And what happens during the period of treatment? How bad does it get? Will we live? Will we die? At some point, even if we're going to live, do we want to die?
And what of the aftermath? What of the wreckage, the pieces that used to be the life you knew. Are you thankful? Do you feel guilty for surviving? Do you want to pull the ostrich card? "Hey, if I can't see it, it didn't happen. And if a bear pooped in the woods..."
Or do you do something with the accumulated knowledge that you now possess? Do you turn the tragedy into triumph? Do you seek out what used to terrify you, and make it work for you to help others?