Cautious Optimism

Mitch Schneider
September 29, 2019

Today marks the six-month anniversary of my stem cell/bone marrow transplant: an auspicious milestone. One hundred and eighty days of slow, but steady improvement. Halfway to my one-year anniversary.

It is cause for cautious optimism — the only kind of optimism that makes any sense. At least, to me.

Fortunately, or even unfortunately, not all optimism is cautious. Some of it can be unbridled and unrealistic. The kind of optimism that can lead to cascading and debilitating depression if or when things don’t work out. That’s one of the reasons I won’t allow myself to fall into the kind of “Sunshine Pump” deception that ensnare so many.

I think I get that from my father who was anything but an optimist. A person who had absolute disdain for anyone he felt was suffering from an unwarranted abundance of optimism. Luckily, that wasn’t an inherited trait. I tend to be a ‘glass half-full’ kind of guy. Or, at least, a guy who sees the glass as under-utilized.

My sense of optimism was reinforced yesterday when I realized that without my doctor signing off on my being sufficiently recovered to participate in the Patient and Family Advisory Council at the City of Hope, my volunteering would have become a moot point. But his belief that I was going to be OK sent a clear message that I would be OK! And, that spoke volumes.

It told me that while I can’t travel or participate in any of the industry’s conferences or events for the next few months, I can make plans for next year.

It suggests that while I failed to make any plans with regard to Misfire, and the promotion, publicity and publication of the book beyond getting it finished, that was definitely something I would have the time to turn my attention to now!

I am cautious — as all cancer survivors are — realizing that bad things can happen rather quickly. But, also optimistic, recognizing that today — as of right now — I have both the time and the responsibility to remain fully engaged in life!

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