Four years ago today i returned to the surname Hansen after many years away from it (as noted on this blog’s About page). Thoughts about the significance of that change formed a large part of the rationale for starting this project.
As chance would have it, less than three months later, i was diagnosed with cancer. In a longer post a year later i discussed why i wasn’t making that a prominent blog topic.
Anniversaries have a way of spurring us to take stock, to big-picture our everyday experiences. This one is compelling me to ruminate about all that has happened since then. About the way the passage of time can make the exact same event seem like yesterday and like ages ago. Continue reading
I hope this is the last time that i’ll have to express regrets for a long absence.
In my inaugural Ruminations post of December 2014, i explained my reasons for not making the cancer diagnosis a major topic of the blog. Unfortunately, it does make sense to refer to its ramifications occasionally, particularly after i’ve been prevented from posting regularly.
Returning today from the longest sabbatical since i started the blog is just such an occasion…
Winter is coming. I never used to mind that.
But now with winter’s approach come dismal emotions that accompany anniversaries of diagnosis and treatment.
This November 1st marks three years since the declaration. I call it the great Time Marker.
I am, as far as i know, cancer-free. The subsequent string of severe complications from the treatment appears to finally be over, but has resulted in permanent discomforts and limitations — which is why i am only now getting back to writing. They make the anniversary a bit more challenging to grieve over and move beyond.
When I started setting up this blog, I had lots of ideas for topics I might want to post about. Sometime later, when I hadn’t yet got around to posting anything, I was diagnosed with cancer.
I decided quickly that I wouldn’t post about it, and correctly anticipated that others would inquire as to whether I would. I’ve since then been crafting my answer to their next question, “Why not?”
The first thing that occurred to me is that it’s such an obvious choice of topic, which is reason enough itself to decline. Second, it’s just too tailormade for heart-tugging and sympathy-engendering, leading to many obvious responses from others as well. “There but for the grace of god go I,” and all that. Third, of course the topic is interesting to me in rather specific ways, but outside of the easy melodrama, it’s hard for me to believe it’s that interesting to others. And even if it were, I would like to think it’s not the most interesting thing about me. Continue reading