The whole career of baby boomer Jan Marino of Lisle, Illinois, has been about reinventing ourselves; in fact her book – Take Back Your Career – is about new challenges for baby boomers reinventing themselves. But now, Jan has been hit with a new challenge of her own, a big one, and writes about it in Rantings from a Baby Boomer on the Edge!
This can’t be happening to me. Who did I piss off so much that they willed this malady on me? Why wasn’t there a notice or choice of some kind? How am I supposed to handle this? Should I tell other people or keep it bottled up inside?
Is this the way my life is going to end? It can’t; I’m not finished yet. I still have stuff to do. I still have places go and lots of people to meet. I still need to go to the Claridge and the Eiffel Tower and Louvre and the Highlands and the Kremlin and the Redwoods and the alleys of Hollywood and New York to see the Rocketeers and Rockefeller Center at Christmas time. I still have great art to produce and fancy parties to attend where I’m the guest of honor. You’ll notice I’m being very selfish. This is a truly human reaction to a surreal situation. I’m amazed at how self-centered this sounds.
My reaction to the diagnosis of a lesion on my brain may seem dramatic. But those who know me know that this is the perfect reaction. I’m really pissed! I don’t know where this thing came from or what caused it. So far, it doesn’t look like it’s a secondary spot from a cancer somewhere else in my body. Anyway, the worst part is waiting. Waiting for test results. Waiting to eliminate all the things it’s not. Waiting to find out what it is.
I’m writing about my illness because it helps me find my real voice and puts emotions into words. Putting a real human face on this situation is essential because you can’t make this stuff up. Even as I write this, the reality hasn’t hit me.
It’s been a week. During that time I’ve experienced various degrees of emotions— positive and negative. I’ve made some funny decisions like forgetting about gluten-free and eating homemade Mac & Cheese…it was heavenly! I even got a Dairy Queen blizzard, which would have been heresy a month ago. I’ve put my business on hold and try to find joy and fun in every minute.
Deep in my cells I think that everything will be OK. I remind myself that I’ve been through worse than this and survived. But after this ordeal is completed, I’m done with tests from the universe!