How’s it going? Seems like such a simple question, but yet words prove difficult to explain how it really is going. “Fine” or “Good” is an answer I just seem to automatically gravitate to and it seems to satisfy most peoples interest. The thing is now a days I find it hard to complain or comment on my illness, I wake up everyday and usually watch the news while I have a coffee and some breakfast and every morning the news in general just gets worse and worse. I was asked today by Tracy to please turn off the news while we had our breakfast and I didn’t want to because…well I want to be informed of the worlds events. Then today as we took a little drive, the wheels started to spin in my head and I asked myself, “Why do I watch that? Nothing ever good has been on the news lately. It’s getting to the point where living with cancer may be the least of my worries, at least I can get treatment for it and the care that is required. Some days after watching I’ve lost all motivation and just left feeling empty and a bit hopeless for humanity in general, but the good news is all it takes is for me to start a new habit find something productive and uplifting to do while I’m having that coffee. It’s a tough enough road ahead the last thing anyone needs is the weight of awful world events weighing you down. Sounds easy enough, but like every new habit formed it’ll take will power to not flip that broadcast back on tomorrow morning and say, “well I’ll just start the next day.”
Back to the question at hand, “how’s it going?” Well, I’ve been doing okay and celebrated my 49th birthday the past week. We didn’t do much, went out for a dinner with a couple friends, kept it low key I guess you could say and treated myself to some new fishing gear. Now before I got sick birthdays (especially mine) I really didn’t care to much about them or make a big deal, but maybe we should? What if it’s the last birthday we get to celebrate with those we love and I’m as guilty as anyone for forgetting loved ones birthdays or other important days, now I could use the excuse it’s the brain fog, which does happen, but it’s bull shit, theres a calendar on our fridge and one on my phone that can automatically remind me and all it takes is probably a couple hours at the beginning of every year to jot in the important dates and I have a pretty big family. Guess what I’m doing tomorrow?
There’s also nothing like having a birthday and knowing a week later that scan results are coming back. For the most part I’m good at disguising my worries and the last couple scans have shown a stable disease, now that doesn’t mean we’re all good it just is telling us that the tumors haven’t spread or gotten any larger and it’s already in a lot of places throughout my body. So ya, I worry, also another reason to not watch the news life needs less stress not more. I need to remember that myself, it’s like while I’m writing I have these moments and the answers are right in front of me. The way my body has been feeling tells me everything should be alright, besides a little foggy and small bouts of fatigue I do generally feel well and here I am blogging at midnight on Saturday, so mentally I’m clear and always in search of purpose.
I have great support at home and everyone is always thinking of my health and well being, an awesome support group that can relied on almost anytime of the day, but here’s something interesting I’ve noticed in the last say couple years. When 2 guys two first meet say it’s a friend of a friend or maybe one of my wife’s friends usually, “how’s it going?” is a pretty typical question and “good” or “fine” is a typical answer. That’s usually how it’s left and you move on to sports or work topics, but I’ve met a few who don’t let me get off that easy, know I have cancer and will ask again with a more intense look “how’s it going, really?” I don’t know if maybe going back 5 or 10 years ago 2 men would talk like that and it’s refreshing to know that you can open up and tell your story, let out real emotion and there are just some great humans out there that generally just care. As I’ve said here before, until a couple years ago I was about as closed off as it got and now here I am an open book.
Maybe if all asked that question “how’s it going?” and dug in until we got a real answer there’d be a lot less anxious and stressed people in the world. Everyone has a story and needs to talk, somebody just has to be there to listen. I’m going to try and be a better listener, maybe you should join me? It just might make someones day, I know I felt better…
Love to All
4 thoughts on “A Relentless Question”
I really identify with this! When someone asks me how I’m doing, I never know for sure if they’re just using that automatic greeting that we all use without thinking or if they really want to know. Depending on the person and the situation, I often give the short, expected “Fine, how are you?” answer, but sometimes I think people get a longer, more detailed response than they were actually looking for!
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If someone is wiling to listen to that detailed answer I think it’s because you met a true friend or just a caring human…few and far between now a days. I really hope we can get back to that. I have learned myself, just so much by writing this blog and all the great comments. Not one negative one at all, gives me hope. Never be afraid to tell someone how you really are. Take care
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Hi Stephen I always enjoy reading your posts and today your post was about something I have thought about for a lot of years now . In the last I would say 10 years I have made it a point to ask people how their day is going rather than how’s it going? We feel different and experience our life on a day to day basis so today we could be feeling great, sad, happy, anxious, so many possibilities. I have found that people engage more with that question and so there is more of a conversation. I am happy that your friends are wanting to really know and understand your current state of health and well-being. We all have to learn to talk to each other even if it is not always comfortable. You are doing a great service by talking and writing about how you are living with your cancer diagnosis and ongoing treatments. Thank you ❤️
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Thank you again for the great comment, conversation is key and understanding is so important for human connection. Unfortunately through social media and then 2 plus years of a pandemic many of us have just forgotten or don’t know how to talk to each other anymore. I certainly hope this can be fixed.