Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Time Heals All




By this time one would think I'd have some intriguing insights to offer on the subject of cancer, chemo, and the hoopla that surrounds them. Sorry. You're barking up the wrong blog.

What I do have to share is that the horses are fine. They've gotten used to multiple caretakers and less-than optimal daily routines. They may not be entirely aware of the details, but they know I'm not quite right. I'm sure I smell wrong. Heck! I smell wrong to me, too. The supportive drugs I'm taking make everything taste like tin foil, and I'm sure that odor comes through in my breath. And I'm not as quick as usual. I don't hop fences; I go through the gates. I take the tractor when possible.

But at this point I'm delighted that I've got the horses shedded out and clipped, and I'm back to being Miss Picky Barn Owner as far as my employees are concerned. It's amazing how quickly things have changed. After all, it was only ten weeks ago that I was lying in a hospital bed wondering if I'd ever be able to sit up again. Now I'm itching to get back in the saddle and whining because I've got a few aches and pains.

As for attitude, I've got plenty. Chemo has done nothing to change that. Would I feel differently if my prognosis were worse? Probably. Maybe. Possibly. Maybe not.

So my minor insight is that, as noted in a recent Psychology Today, optimism isn't about seeing the bright side. It's about believing that your behavior influences your outcome. Horsemen don't have a corner on that level of irrational belief, but no one can bully a 1200-pound beast without self-confidence and a willingness to suspend fatalism. It's not that I think I can control my fate, but that I believe I can make things better, for me, for the horses, for the world at large. And that's no small thing.

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