Cancer is my current job title. Chemo is my best friend but can sometimes feel like it wants to kill me. Solitude is when I have uninterrupted focus on all my hopes and fears, and can’t ignore my reality.
Ultimately, I love being with people. I love chatting, sharing stories, and having company. But solitude can be an important gut check sometimes. It is the only way to really face my thoughts. I am optimistic of my future, but I am scared. I just want to live so bad. I am such a curious person and want to see what will come from my life, and from everyone else’s life. I have so much exploring to do. I have so much to see.
When I’m alone, I think about what really matters to me. I do like the person I was two months ago and before that, but I have different goals now. They have evolved, yet have been simplified. All I really care about now is health and love. I have changed.
My energy has really been great lately, and has grown exponentially over the past ten days. I regained ten of the 48 pounds I lost in the first two months. The pain in my stomach went away. My body is creating red blood cells again, which means I may not have to rely as much on blood transfusions. The transfusion I last had was really helpful, and put oxygen in my head. My liver numbers, which had been way too high to begin Chemo, have stabilized. I’m weak of course, but much better.
After a few good days, it was hard to prepare for the symptoms that come with treatment, which I resumed yesterday. I underwent a 15-minute IV bag of chemo, then a 24-hour straight Chemo bag, then a 12-hour bag, then a 20-minute bag. I was also given three Chemo pills. Since I couldn’t go any further than the IV, it gave me a lot of time to think again.
The process is like having a very bad flu, except that when you finally recover, they then say, “Great news, you’re healthy enough for the flu again!” Although the process is rough, the fact that I am strong enough for Chemo is definitely great news. And I’ve seen that my body can recover from the treatment. So when I reach a low point again, I can remember the past ten days and how strong I’ve been.
In the past, I had the classic nerd syndrome, with so much I wanted to prove to everybody. I always had a secret vision of showing up to a high school reunion, super buff, with a huge multi million dollar company. My dream was to overhear people whisper, “Wow, is that Aaron Feldman? I used to make fun of how skinny that guy was, and how he always walked around with a camera.” But I’ve realized that people don’t really care about how huge my company gets, or how outwardly successful I am. The only person I need to define success to is myself.
Of course, I want my business to continue growing and thriving. With so much love and dedication from the people who support me, I believe it will. True Photography has been such an amazing part of me, and will continue to be. We create memories that people will have forever through the generations. That isn’t a plug, rather a reminder of what inspired me to create my company in the first place. I wanted it to be my mark in the world. But along with the growth, I want to stay committed to the roots of what made us great in the first place. I really want to concentrate on enriching the lives of the clients we do have, rather than just pushing for clients that don’t yet exist. Most importantly, I want to see everyone happy.
If I were to die (not happening anytime soon), I wouldn’t want people to just think of me me as the guy that always worked. I want to close my computer more. Being forced to be off of my computer has taught me to chill out a bit. I need to pull back a little more often from my extreme, from my multitasking ways of watching TV while G-chatting and sending emails and eating simultaniously. I need to shut it all down and just be where I am, rather than in five places at once. I want to enjoy exactly what is in front of me: my amazing wife, son, friends, and family. That is my true happy.