Just so you know, this is my last column before going in for surgery for my sacral chordoma on Thursday. I may be writing the column again fairly soon, but if it takes a few weeks, that will have to be OK.
Mentally, I'm clearing a space. I'm allowing myself not to be here. It's important to do that. Otherwise, I'll just be concentrating on getting back to work instead of on healing.
So let's say this: I will resume writing the column when my head clears and I have something to say. That could be a week or it could be a month. I'll miss it, and I'll miss you. But I've got to give it time. Right now, I have to let go of attachments and responsibilities and just "turn it over." I have to just heal and let people take care of me.
That's sort of a novel approach for me. You might even say it's a breakthrough.
So it bears repeating: For the next few weeks my only standard is going to be to take one day at a time as I heal. I'm going to try to be a gracious host to my own healing. I'm going to try to make it as easy as possible for this healing to take place.
I'm not going to try to rush the healing process. Healing takes time. I know this. So my impatience will have to wait.
And I'm going to accept whatever the outcome is. I trust the surgeons and doctors who will be treating me. They're dedicated individuals. I've spoken with them and I know the risks.
And if my life changes as a result, if I am impeded in some of my usual activities, if it takes longer to heal than expected, if the disease comes back, if I have to sacrifice some functions that I now take for granted, well, I'm ready for that, too.
So I turn it over. That does not mean I lack will. I feel a fierce determination to heal, to grow strong, to keep the cancer from coming back, and to return to life as a vibrant, energetic, happy, fun-loving individual for many years to come.
My wife, Norma, has volunteered to be a contact person, should you want to know about my condition or how to get in touch with me or visit. You can e-mail her at this address (I'm not going to write the actual address, in a perhaps futile attempt to cut down on spam): normatenn at me.com. (You can put the little "at" sign in.) She will also set up a blog under her name, Norma Tennis, on Open Salon where you can go for updates.
Even with several weeks to prepare, I have left many items unfinished. But they'll have to wait.
This disease is telling me to slow down and focus.
So keep in touch. Norma will be looking after things. The weekly workshops will continue with a wonderful guest leader until I return. And the January getaway has been rescheduled for Feb. 21-24.
Wish me luck! I'll be back!
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