Now, 3 years and 80 performances later, we have a new but not different ending to the show. This script change originates from the need to address some audience confusion and discomfort that has been communicated from time to time and at sufficient levels that I now want to address it. The question of “what happened next” hangs over what some have said is an abrupt ending of the storyline. The journey from the hour long build-up to: “I am ready to hear the words. I can do this.” To, “We, Susan and I, have not danced the actual dance.” Happens too fast for some people and with no sense of what has happened since that time to Susan or me.
As is so often the case this re-examination of the script happens at a fortuitous point in time. In real life as I write this blog post Susan and I are reliving “Our Story”, taking refuge on our respective, but different, planes of the same universe. “It seems new, Susan,” I almost shout. “Pay attention to your body and what is going on. You have NOT had this before or at least for last 15 years, go see your own doctor now.” I am really loud when I am adamant.
“It is going to be fine, Sam. I saw a visiting doctor at work, and he gave me these prescriptions. Everyone has it right now, stop worrying.” Susan is stoic and adamant in our own confidence that everything is going to be just fine.
This is all happening a full 15 years later, and Susan and I still live on different planes of the universe. The point is that once someone you love confronts a near fatal diagnosis, it never really ends for you, does it. You always wait and listen. Do you really believe “everything is going to be just fine?” Of course not! Sorry readers of “The Secret,” the law of attraction doesn’t really work that way. When you love someone who has almost died from disease you cannot pretend it did not happen, and you cannot stop thinking about it. You can never clear the mind so completely that the thought isn’t right there on top every time your loved one isn’t feeling or looking perfect to you: “Is it back?”
Not long ago I wrote a blog and titled it: The Dance Never Really Ends. That blog is about the rituals we keep in our lives after losing someone we love. This blog today is about the never ending fear of losing someone once the potential of loss becomes real. A classic “lose, lose” situation. The ultimate truth is that confronting mortality of our loved ones changes everything in an instant, and there is no going back. We learn how to live in those moments and to be grateful ultimately for every person in our lives when we have them. It is not however about “living in the moment,” in the sense of not being fully aware of the past or fearing the future. It is about being grateful for what we have when we have it, with full knowledge that it will change.
So the ending of “The Actual Dance” has some new words and more of the “story” comes out. What I hope is clearer is that after a cancer diagnosis the story never “really ends.”
RESOURCES: For family members. American Cancer Society. For women. Women Survivor’s Alliance