Friday, November 6, 2009

Who or What is my audience? Do I even still have an audience?

Hooray!!  I have officially reached 1,000 profile views!  Granted, a few of those are mine, but regardless...  I have As Many profile views as Robert Caplin, who is significantly more awesome than me.  Seriously.  This man is twenty-freaking-six years old, and just look at his body of work, already!  How did he get there?  That is what I want to know, as I am sitting in my kitchen two hours before I leave for work at Starbucks.  How does one find success doing what they love?  Talent, definitely.  He is clearly talented.  And drive, determination, all of that.  I know the formula, but I am a little fuzzy (okay, a lot fuzzy) on the execution.  Maybe one day I'll figure out what I want to do when I grow up and what I need to do to get there.  Or I'll swallow my fear and ask for help...  Haha, who knows.

In the meantime, I am slowly figuring out what to do with myself in the present tense.  I work; I run every other day; and I am starting to volunteer.  With whom, do you ask, am I volunteering?  Well.  There is a non-profit organization based here in Chicago that I heard about nearly three years ago when I was home and receiving chemo.  At the time, I was too stubborn and self-absorbed to think much about the group and how it could help me.  Now, however, I have realized, especially after being in Wyoming with other cancer survivors, that this group would have helped me tremendously while I was in treatment, but as it is, it is my turn to help.  So what is this fantastic organization?  Imerman Angels.  It is a cancer support group that pairs current cancer patients with survivors, "Angels."  The mission and intent of the organization is that no person should have to feel so isolated and alone while dealing with cancer.  Somewhere, someone else has gone through a similar experience, and the Angels aim to match those people - someone to talk to who understands.  It was founded by Jonny Imerman who is easily one of the most charismatic and genuinely nice people I have ever met.  I have met him twice now, the second time this past Monday at a fundraiser, and both times I have been completely blown away by his attitude and kindness.  His commitment to and belief in Imerman Angels is so amazing; it is rare to find someone so truly and completely dedicated to helping others.  You meet him and cannot help but want to do everything you possibly can for his cause.

So, I wanted to be a part of this group.  After my experience in Wyoming, I realized how important it is to have a support group who understands what you've gone through.  Also, the volunteers participate in a bunch of different fun fundraisers all the time, and I figure it is a good way to get out there and meet people with similar interests.  It's good, and I am excited to really start helping.

Otherwise, that is about it.  I still think about cancer every single day but no longer all the time, every day.  I am slowly letting it stop controlling me, although it's tough, sometimes, to just let it go.  To learn and move on.  I wish I had a firmer plan for my future; it is really disconcerting not having something to work towards, like a graduation.  Oh well.  Anywhoo, keep on keeping on, and have a spectacular weekend!  I certainly will, and let me know if you would like a free pound of Starbucks coffee.  Word.

6 comments:

Megan/Yuping said...

I AM YOUR AUDIENCE, AND I WOULD NOT REFUSE A FREE POUND OF STARBUCKS COFFEE

MPomy said...

Mr. Cheesesteak is a subscriber, so KEEP GOING!

Em said...

Fridge, I love you!!!! So glad you are doing stuff with the Imerman crowd. It's an amazing program! Your zest for life is leaping from your words and it makes me so happy to see. Next time we get together I want to have a milk-foaming contest; I spent a year after college making coffee in New Orleans! And look at me now!! :) Love you tons, sister. Keep writing, please!! FD FORVER!

International Nomad: André D. Singleton said...

Fridge,

Thanks for writing. Your words are definitely valued. I reckon with everything you share[d]. I am 23 and know how incredibly young that is but it still petrifies me to not know or have a strong hold on what it is that I want to do. I don't want to ever feel like I used cancer as a crutch. But it really effin' changed our lives. It's just as much a part of our history as our heritage and interest. It's become a part. And we don't have to say it to be reminded, we have the scars internally and externally to remind us. I am stepping closer and closer to my 5 year anniversary (4/22) and it's like a HUGE deal to me. I can't even describe to people. I am not that 19 year old boy that just finished chemo anymore. So what am I grappling with? It's life. It's complicated and layered. I am equally elated as I am petrified. Do I have an answer for any of this...NO! But I think the discourse is the where the healing takes place. Afterall, we are special people to get a second, third, and even fourth chance at this whole life thing. I love you, Fridge. Keep on keepin' on.

xo
Double O

Mark said...

Caroline,
It is completely your choice whether to continue this blog or to let it drift into a happy ending. You have fought the battle and won. I do not think anyone would begrudge you your right to move on.
You do have a gift for expressing yourself. Exorcising the demons that haunted you through your battle through thoughtfully presented updates has given words to the thoughts of those who are now carrying the torch into their own personal battles. You have put into words what no clinician or physician can tell a Patient.
A doctor may tell a Patient that "This may be unpleasant" but, in you, are the words of a Patient telling other Patients the real story. No textbook or residency program prepares clinicians to provide the words of experience that you have left behind from your struggle.
I am sure that many of your readers have smiled and cried in recognizing themselves in the words you have shared. Still many others that are beginning this portion of their life will find comfort in knowing that someone else has been there before and left behind a handbook to help me cope. Your little voice that spoke out online through the years provided words to what many others have been feeling but did not know how to say.

Caroline said...

In retrospect, this post really does read like I'm quitting the b-log... But I can't! Haha, I am still too affected by and dealing with all my little cancer nasties to stop writing. Thank you all so much for your beautiful words and support and everything. I love you all tremendously, even all of you whom I've never actually met. It's totally not weird; it's cool. Just, thank you, and I'll still be posting when I've got something relevant to post. :)