After 5 years and +170 episodes of podcasting about cancer I was tired. Tired of listening and talking about cancer while dealing with my own (I've lost count how many) recurrence earlier this year. Creating each show was like the old “time to make the donuts” commercial. And then, a few weeks ago I broke down; literally.
Another Friend Died
My friend, fellow colon cancer patient and former guest on my show, Sarah DeBord, died. The 11th former guest on my show to pass away. I learned of the news via a Facebook post. I burst into tears and tossed my phone across the room and told Linda “I can't do it anymore; I'm done.” Three days later we headed for a planned vacation at the beach.
Time to Clear My Head
After two days on the beach, reading books and breathing in the salted sea air my head began to clear. I did a pretty good job of “disconnecting” electronically. Okay, the truth is the WI-FI where we were staying sucked, so I didn't really have a choice. When I did manage to get connected I noticed I received a random email from a listener of the podcast; a total stranger. Here is an excerpt from her email:
I am so grateful for you and for what you are doing to help other people. I pray for your strength and recovery. Again, thank you so so much for putting together such an amazing show and empowering strangers like me to support the people in our lives who are dealing with cancer. You are so important to me. Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart, your show has really made a difference.
I replied to her and said prior to receiving her email I was seriously thinking of quitting. She replied:
Please please, go on with the show. There must be so many people besides me who need to hear from survivors, caregivers, and even people who have lost their loved ones to cancer, to help cope with whatever they are going through.
“It starts when it starts, it ends when it ends. The right people show up and what happened was the only thing that could have happened” – Unknown
There could not be a better example of “the right people show up” than Jill's email.
After reading her email through the tears in my eyes I realized that it's not about me; there are people that need to hear these stories. Like the tagline of the show states – stories of information, inspiration and hope.
I am now jumping back into the pool reinvigorated. It's not about the downloads, the sponsorships or the money. It's about the one listener who you inspired, gave hope to, taught, entertained, made laugh or even made cry.
It always is. It always was.