Facing death (and giving it a bloody nose) is traumatic and life changing. People know that, they expect it. They expect you to be outwardly and obviously changed, to impart great wisdom from the beyond or be an insane, drooling vegetable. They expect you to win the Tour de France™ or spend the rest of your life in a home for those of similar incontinence. They expect you to be really nice or really bitter. They expect you to become a Buddhist or at least quit smoking. It’s human nature to expect a return on your emotional investment, some resolution or just plain punctuation. I did.
But facing death is actually pretty exhausting. The return on investment comes with time, rest and reflection, which I’ve tried to enjoy to the fullest this past year and change:
I started teamBEAT!!!™ with Jane and Damien in the very wake of Michael Jackson's embalming - a Soviet synth-pop revival band that toured Germany three times;
Launched two perfume lines for Avril Lavigne, aimed at the consumerist, brand-conscious, yet somehow 'rebellious teen' market... kids today;
Successfully embarrassed one of the richest men in the world (name withheld);
Crashed a honeymoon in Thailand to learn something I already knew about myself:
Starred in a Swedish Toyota commercial;
Had the usual twelve-day festival, mikeFEST!!!™ - now in its 28th year and with ever-better posters:
Got back and better than ever into shape after prolonged illness and atrophy.
And I watched as my two remaining tumors (17mm & 13mm), out of an original total of seven (after the brain baseball), shrank to just one that was ‘only marginally enlarged’ at 12mm (October 2009). That last lymph node is now (as of May this year) down to a normal 10mm with absolutely no sign of cancer.
And I’ve changed in very dramatic, but outwardly subtle ways that were never black and white and rarely apparent even to those who think they know me well. It is a life-changing experience, but it’s my life to change and figure out which babies to throw out with the bathwater. Real change takes time. I’m just happy that I have a lot more of it now.