My Cancer Story Ch. 63 “Out With the Old”

Chapter 63: “Out With the Old”

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Over the next few months, I felt that Tonya had been acting differently. I couldn’t explain why and when I asked her if she was okay, she would be quick to give me the answer I was looking for. “Yeah, I’m fine.” I was confused for I knew she wasn’t fine.

 

Meanwhile – back up north – MBNA was preparing to close. In June of 2005, Bank of America bought the credit card giant, causing the entire branch to fear the worst; that they would be out of their jobs. The company reassured them that they wouldn’t do such a thing and our immediate managers surmised that since Bank of America didn’t have an outward telemarketing arm that we would be safe in our profession.

 

Clearly, it was just a matter of time (and assessment) until the branch was shut down. In fact, not only did they shut some of the branches, but all of them. The Fort Kent center was consistently one of the top branches in the country, but even stellar numbers couldn’t save us.

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My Cancer Story Ch. 62 “Love and Loss”

Chapter 62: “Love and Loss”

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It was difficult for me to live so far away from “Tonya.” I had finally found a steady girlfriend and she was three hours away. My mind tinkered with ways in which we could spend more time together. I decided to use some of my time off for Christmas from MBNA so I could go down for more than just the weekend.

 

Taking time off from MBNA was actually rather easy to do. Since it was an outbound call center, all you had to do was to work the twenty hours that you’re required by front-loading the week with longer days. They would always advise against it, however, because it would affect your “numbers.” But I never cared about that; I sucked at selling credit cards anyway.

 

The distance also made me wonder what life would be like if I continued on with my plan to go to the University of Maine at Orono (the O.G. UMaine) and finish my schooling down there. It certainly would be nice to get out of town sooner rather than later and I could be closer to Tonya.

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My Cancer Story Ch. 61 “My First Girlfriend”

Chapter 61: “My First Girlfriend”

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My path was set. I was ready to make films professionally and my tools to do so were falling into place. The money from the Sunshine Foundation finally came through (a cool grand) and I used it in tandem with my credit card to fund my very own laptop.

 

I stuck with Dell and decked it out with state-of-the-art processing power and the best graphics card and storage money can buy (in 2005). All in all, the impressive laptop cost me around twenty-five hundred dollars.

 

Yet, I still felt like I was missing something even as my desired career was well underway. I had spent the past two years being comforted with the fact that I remained in the vicinity of my family and friends, but I had spent the past twenty years without a single relationship.

 

Sure, I’d had some little childhood flings as many kids are wont to do, such as my girlfriend, Jenn, in second grade or my other girlfriend, Danielle – of one day – also in second grade, but I never had a true relationship.

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My Cancer Story Ch. 60 “Summer of Blood”

Chapter 60: “Summer of Blood”

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To navigate parenthood is tantamount to a guy on a high wire, balancing only upon the small area in which disaster is preventable while any other step can drastically alter your life. My parents knew how to walk that line during my treatment (and for the most part during our younger years). See, as a child, the influence of adults is the word of God. Sure some denounce God’s name and go against his will. Likewise, it’s a fine line between helping shape a child’s passions and squashing them without realization. It’s through a certain path on which we must venture to be our best selves.

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Rediscovering You

Today, I was reminded that in life, we all need that certain “Je nais se quoi;” the element of our lives that centers us– one returns us to true ourselves.

For many, this form of zen is yoga. For some, hiking comes to mind. Swimming. Biking. Walking a dog. There are many ways in which we can calm ourselves and get in touch with nature and our bodies. My method is gardening. There is nothing quite like the feeling of getting close to the Earth and interacting with soil, whilst nurturing living things during the course of their entire lives. It is truly unlike anything else I can do– Well, except for writing.

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My Cancer Story Ch. 58 “My First (Anxiety-Riddled) Concert”

Chapter 58: “My First (Anxiety-Riddled) Concert”

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My mind pushed out tragic thoughts of the house fire and instead continued churning its gleeful slideshow of happy memories set to upbeat pop music. It was like an Aunt who returned from vacation and a shitty house DJ all rolled into one. But every so often, the lingering anxiety would rear its ugly head, penetrating the very stability I had once thought I possessed.

 

Late one night, I began to worry about my throat closing up and sure enough, the feeling returned. I tried to fight it off, knowing that the feeling was likely due to the thought of it, but by then, it was too late.

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