By Ed Steger
Ed Steger is a head and neck cancer survivor. He was diagnosed in 2005 and after rough patches in 2006 and 2007 has been in remission. He writes a blog about his cancer experience at www.hncancer.blogspot.com.
Continued from Tuesday's post
Being more empathetic and compassionate
I understand what empathy and compassion are and believe I have always had these traits, but to a somewhat limited degree. As a result of my personal cancer experience, I'm feeling these emotions at a deeper level. It's one thing to know someone is in pain; it's completely different to actually feel that pain.
Having had my own pain during the past seven years, I can now more easily feel the pain of others. I have also had some wonderful role models, who showed me empathy and compassion during this cancer journey. I still have a ways to go here, but I do believe it's making me a better person.
Supporting cancer research
A friend recently volunteered to make a donation to a research program at MD Anderson. My siblings have made donations to my cancer center. One of them even asked her co-workers to make donations to my cancer center. I, too, have made financial contributions and hope to do more in the future. I believe the research I support will ultimately lead to improved prevention, early detection and the treatment of head and neck cancer.
However, the economy is soft and reduced funding is hindering progress. I'd like to ask you to make a donation to cancer research. It doesn't have to be my cancer center. It doesn't have to be a lot. It doesn't even have to be in the United States (many other countries are doing remarkable research). If you're reading this blog post, there's a good chance that cancer has touched your life. Do what you can and make a contribution today and help cure this terrible disease.
If you'd like to make a donation to MD Anderson, it's easy to do. To learn more, just click on the following link: https://www.mdanderson.org/gifts/
I know it's a cliché, but I'm also trying to be more forgiving. No details are necessary here, but it's one more area where reinventing myself is making me a better person. This, like the other changes I'm trying to make in my "second chance" life, is a work in progress.
A disclaimer seems appropriate here. I'm not lowering the expectation of others or myself, I'm just letting go of the trivial.
I write about my learnings with the hope that you'll take something away from them, whether it's to be more proactive in making a positive difference, helping a friend in need or taking into deeper consideration the needs of our global community.
Take care, everyone.
Read more posts by Ed Steger.