The public recently had the opportunity to watch Senator Kennedy go sailing shortly after he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. We mere mortals might be asking ourselves, gee, could I have the courage to face cancer like that, with such dignity and aplomb? Sure we could, at times. We do so everyday, without the paparazzi snapping away. Every cancer patient has moments of despair mingled with triumphs large and small. The despair part's easier to recognize and comprehend, so I won't describe what that's like. There's a cancer saying that goes, I have cancer; cancer doesn't have me. Ted Kennedy at the helm of his boat captures this perfectly, although he might have been thinking: will I be doing this next Memorial Day?
Facing cancer has nothing to do with bravery. You have no choice when the diagnosis is handed down. You just do it. You have good days; you have bad days. You have days when you want to give up. You try to protect the ones you love by keeping your "game face" on. You do not want pity. You want to be treated like you're you, not some poor creature living under a death sentence. You want to laugh, and complain, and eat ice cream.
Carpe diem, baby.