“Don’t Get Cocky!”

I keep this picture in my office as a reminder to stay vigilant. In the original Star Wars, Luke shoots down a tie fighter while escaping the Death Star. It’s his first taste of victory in the midst of his new life as a rebel fighter. We all know that he’ll eventually become a Jedi knight and personally take down the rebellion’s two greatest foes, The Emperor and Darth Vader, and lead the fight to returning the galaxy to a place of peace, but in that moment Luke has no idea who he’ll become or what will become of his new life. Directly after Luke’s “victory”, he cheers, and Han immediately rebukes him, “Great Kid! Don’t get cocky!” It plays as a great comedic moment in the film but also resonates with Luke throughout  the rest of the trilogy. A great example is in “Empire Strikes Back” when Leia kisses Luke in front of Han and Luke puts his arms back and puts them behind his head like “he’s the freakin’ man”. He obviously has no idea that he just made out with his sister which is another reminder of why he needs to always stay vigilant ; )

I bring up these examples because to be honest I would love some prayers, good vibes, and encouragement right now to help me stay vigilant as I move forward. When this all started I was definitely in an acute state so I was probably being over-vigilant. Deep down I believe that I’m healed and I’m looking towards the future as if that’s the case, but there was a lot of wisdom in the way that the disease was holding me accountable during the early stages of recovery. I was able to stay on top of things like minimizing stress, getting plenty of rest, staying active, eating healthy etc.(all things that should not only help me live a long life but also improve the quality of my life greatly), but over these last few weeks I’ve found myself sorta slipping back into the lifestyle I had before the diagnosis. It’s probably a normal fear to have and an inevitable lesson that I need to learn, but it still doesn’t change the fact that it’s scary. I mean how scary was it for Luke to find his aunt and uncle dead only to then be stuck with two whiny robots and some crazy old hermit who plays with swords that then takes him into the underbelly of his small desert town to meet some illegal smuggler with a bounty on his head that hangs out with a large furry monster that sounds like a dying dog every time he talks, they then jump in a ship that looks like a piece of junk and then have clones with white armor chase after them with laser guns. He then ends up being sucked into a giant weapon that resembles a moon and can blow up planets, falls into a garbage shoot with a gross, hungry, eel eye monster that tries to suffocate him and barely escapes while the walls of the garbage shoot almost squishes him to death. Then the old hermit dies and Luke starts hearing the old man talk to him in his head, and then against all odds Luke flies a “four winged” airplane (what?) into the trenches of the Death Star and with a shot in a million, destroys it, and gets away barely in time. After that he gets attacked by a large abominable snow monster, spends the night inside the stomach of an animal that resembles a prehistoric kangaroo, gets attacked by a bunch of 8 story tall mechanical dogs, then flees to a swamp planet, where a little green midget, who talks weird, teaches him the ways of an ancient religion that will “supposedly” give him tremendous power. Each of those events required vigilance on Luke’s behalf, but even in the midst of all those scary and uncertain moments (moments that all helped him become one of the most powerful people in the galaxy) Luke would still fall back into “whiny farmboy mode” (like when we first meet him and says to his Uncle Owen, “But I was going to go to the Tashi System and get some power converters.” Whine it up, Luke).

Actually just listing what Luke had to go through has given me some encouragement. I will say that my greatest fear right now is that I’ll forget what I’ve been through and all the wisdom that I’ve gained during this recovery season and will “relapse” (if you will) someday, because I’m feeling pretty “normal”. It’s hard for me to admit these fears (especially in a public forum) but I’m hoping that by bringing it to the light, it will help me to trust my instincts as leaving the cocoon of recovery continues to become more and moore of a reality. Recently, I revisited some pictures of when this first started and it was a good reminder to not “get cocky”, but I know that I wouldn’t have gotten here without the love and support you’ve given me, and that will always remind me to stay vigilant.

A gentle reminder: Leaving the Hospital, the scar, shortly afterwards (couldn’t smile, could barely talk and stand)

Much Love,