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and I went on the zipline course at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Western North Carolina. It was worth it. It was so worth it. I discovered something during our ziplining trip. When I clipped into my harness and looked down from the first tower, I had zero fear. This is remarkable, because one reason I’d wanted to take the ziplining course was because of my fear of heights. I wanted it gone, and I figured ziplining from mountaintop to mountaintop would force it out of my system. Yet with a cancer diagnosis came a very real fear of death, and my theory is that it forced out all other fears in my life – including, yes, my fear of heights. I’ve tested this theory since, such as when we rode the Ferris wheel and the chairlift ride at the State Fair that October, and it’s confirmed: my fears are just plain gone.

my life and I am genuinely and sincerely as happy as I’ve ever been, if not happier. As for the memories I lost? I’ll make more. I have time.

I’m not afraid. I don’t feel sorry for myself. I don’t lose sleep. I stay positive, and it’s not a front. The way I see it, one of two things is going to happen. One: I’ll not have as long a life as I’d hoped, in which case there is simply no time to waste on worry, fear or self-pity; or two: I will live a normal lifespan, in which case I owe it to myself (and to all the people whose luck wasn’t as good as mine) to live without worry, fear or self-pity. Either way, fear is no longer relevant to my life. So why have I spent hundreds of words talking about myself? I want to illustrate a point: cancer doesn’t have to be the end. Yes, I know some forms are more aggressive than others and that many, many people don’t have the same treatment options I do. I simply happened into a form of cancer that is manageable by modern medicine, and I know I’m not alone. Not only does cancer not have to be the end for me, but it doesn’t even have to mean I’m unhealthy. Yes, I have leukemia, but I’m also in the best shape of

AUGUST 2018 |

OutreachNC.com 45

Profile for OutreachNC magazine

OutreachNC August 2018  

Living Healthy, Dream Sleep Science & Mystery, Birding in NC Dunn-Erwin Trail, The Importance of the Right Fitness Equipment, Cancer Survivo...

OutreachNC August 2018  

Living Healthy, Dream Sleep Science & Mystery, Birding in NC Dunn-Erwin Trail, The Importance of the Right Fitness Equipment, Cancer Survivo...