A “New Normal” and That’s Okay

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The great German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche described his mantra for success as amor fati -a love of fate. He further detailed it to mean, “That one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backwards, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it….but love it.”There was a moment where cancer never entered my daily thoughts and then, within seconds of hearing “It’s cancer”, it took hold of the space between my ears. The struggles with diagnosis are incredibly painful, scary and often dark. In those times, it was easy for me to dream back to my pre-cancer self.Just like so many events in our lives, when we look back, they seem perfect. This was 100% me looking back to me on myself pre-cancer. We are quick to ignore faults and immediately focus on the positive, while even embellishing the truth along the way. Those where the good ole’ days, right?!?! For me, I had several thoughts like this when looking back mid-journey; the thoughts of “Why me?”, “This isn’t fair!”, and most powerful “I’m never going to be the same.”There is no question that post-cancer I am a different person than I was pre-diagnosis, and I’ve slowly come to learn that this is a good thing. As the ripples have died down, cancer has left me with a greater respect for life, a deeper sense of what it means to be a man, and an overwhelming desire to be the best human possible for those around me. My cancer journey has taught me the value of discipline, but also appreciating the uncertain. It has taught me that more than anything in this world I want to be superman to my future kids and the strongest husband possible for my equally super wife.Of course, I would be lying if I were to say that the negative thoughts didn’t still find their way in…I imagine they will always will there. Cancer sucks. Treatment sucks. PTSD after treatment is real. There is no getting around it. Yet, from our experiences as survivors, we have the power to leverage our journey to become stronger than we were before we heard those three loaded words. We have the ability to love and embrace our fate.I would encourage anyone seeking brotherhood and support along their TC journey to connect with the team at the Testicular Cancer Foundation. Their team and array of programs are invaluable to those experiencing TC and have been instrumental in my personal journey.

Survivor StoriesCory Jackson