The Event That Killed Me
Sometimes, events happen in life that change you. I don’t mean they change the way you feel about something or the way you look at something. I’m not talking about some trite change in point-of-view or attitude. I’m talking change. Total, radical, change. As in, the person you were is now dead, gone, never to be resurrected, and a new person who has established a new normal has taken over.
These are usually terrific events (terrific used in the sense of terror-inducing). The loss of a child or spouse. A battle with a major illness, like cancer. Witnessing the decline and death of a loved one. Loss of a limb or the use of limbs. Combat.
Something happens inside you. Whether it be some altering of the dna or rearranging of cells or reconstruction of the psyche at the deepest levels, a change occurs. Actually, more than a change, a metamorphosis.
I speak from experience. I will forever refer to my life as B.C. and A.C. Before cancer; after cancer.
I’m not the same person I was before my year-long battle with colon cancer. That Mike Dellosso is dead. On the outside, the new Mike is no different, albeit a little grayer and little, um, weightier. It’s the inside that’s morphed. No, I didn’t suddenly become a Time Lord and grow another heart (Dr. Who fans will get that one); my blood didn’t turn green; my bones aren’t made of iron. Physically, I’m the same, minus about sixteen inches of my colon and plus a few scars I didn’t have before. But who I am, the core of the person, is not the same.
I like to say I’ve been regenerated twice, once spiritually and once emotionally (now for you Whovians, if I was a Time Lord how many regenerations would I have left?).
So what does this metamorphosis look like? Speak to anyone who has encountered the terrific (again, terror-inducing) and you’ll probably hear similar testimonies. I see life differently, it’s more precious, shorter. There is a sense of urgency to do more meaningful things, to make an impact, to inspire change in others. I see people differently, not as just bodies taking up space, sharing air with me, but as people, real people with lives to live and dreams to achieve. People who hurt and suffer and fear and struggle with what life throws at them on a daily basis. Lost people. Confused. Lonely. Angry.
Is this metamorphosis a good thing? Most will tell you . . . mostly. It does bring with it some baggage. Stress of its own. Burdens. But as I’ve said before and will say a thousand times more: if I had the opportunity to go back in time and avoid the whole cancer thing, I wouldn’t. I’m thankful for my experience; I’m thankful for the death of the old Mike Dellosso; and while this new Mike is severely flawed and needs a ton of work, I think he’s on the right track.
So how about you? Have you undergone a metamorphosis? Has there been one event in your life that so radically changed you that you’re not the same person you were?
P.S. Next time I’ll tell you about the first time I died.
Posted on August 1, 2013, in Cancer, Christian Living, Life in General and tagged American Cancer Society, Cancer, Doctor Who, Life after cancer, Life-changing events, Time Lord. Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.