And the importance of slowing down, and listening to your body, and remembering that you're human. And I think that's one of the things ... We're all so intent on being superhuman. And until nature comes and slaps us down, ‘no!'
I started seeing other men that were going through that. That I think also was another added layer of, 'I'm not alone in this,' … That helped. I think that's what kind of helped me shift from that thinking of, 'Oh my god. How is this possible?' to, 'Okay. There's things that you can do to help this. Not only yourself, but to help others.
So life just continued. I guess that was the most surprising thing if anything, was that life continued as normal. At work I couldn’t do all the meetings so I had some colleagues help out. That part actually helped, we wanted some routine because you didn’t want to dwell. It was that sense of normalcy that got us through it.
If I get invited to something or I'm doing something and I really don't want to do it, I don't anymore. So if I'm spending time with you, if you're part of my day, it's because I want it to be that way, not because I feel like it has to be.
I love to sew, but my real passion lays outdoors with my plants. They're my pets.
He wrote a couple pieces, which are a part of his incredible book, When Breath Becomes Air. I read a couple of them. He was talking about what it was to live with cancer, to live with terminal cancer. He was writing about processing his emotions. It was so impactful for me to realize people continue to live.
And then I just sat there and I went, 'Michael, you're stage four. What the hell are you worried about? Live. Get on the plane,' and I did.
March is triple negative breast cancer month. I'm not sure yet what I'll do this month because it's my first March having had triple negative breast cancer. But it does seem like there's a lot going on … I'd say for March, I'm just going to try to be fabulous and get the word out about triple negative breast cancer.
I have made my health — physical, mental, and spiritual — my absolute priority and everything else takes a back seat. I feel more connected to my religion and to God. I am Jewish and went to Israel for the first time after I had had a few chemo treatments. The trip revived my heart and my soul, and lifted my spirits.
Now that time is more of a currency and a high value thing, I look at that as how I'm spending it, and I want to spend it with my family and the people that matter versus doing things that I guess are more superficial.
So it was learning to adapt to kind of a new sort of normal. Like I will always have this disease or a thought of it in my mind, from 28-years-old for the rest of my life because it's something I will always have to be on alert for.
Instead of living life like I'm running out of time, I want to live it like I still have time. I don't want to live like I'm dying, because I'm not.