How I Found Strength in Vulnerability to Ask for Support, Positive Energy, and Prayers
Dear friends and loved ones, I want to share that it appears Cancer may have returned to my life. I am also reaching out to you because, as difficult as this is for me, I want to ask you for what I call, “The Favor.”
For those who do not know, 5 years ago I received a serious Stage-3 cancer diagnosis. This news came at a turbulent time when I was moving through several life-changing events. For many reasons, I never felt comfortable opening up, showing vulnerability, or asking people for support. I largely moved through these difficult life experiences alone, because I didn’t want to bother or burden others. When that past cancer did appear, I could only accept help from a few very close friends and loved ones, and they stayed by my side throughout my invasive cancer treatments and the difficult recovery that followed. But even after receiving these gifts of love, I still could not muster the vulnerability and strength to reach out to others, and NEVER did I have the courage to ask for the Favor.
At the end of this email I will ask you for that favor, but first (because I know some of you may want to know) here is a brief healthcare update:
A few days ago, a set of routine scans unexpectedly spotted not just one, but two new or previously unknown lesions in my body. One scan showed a lesion within my Prostate. I am hopeful that, based upon some limited initial information, this occurrence may have a path to a successful outcome.
The other identified a lesion on my pelvic bone in the area of the hip. While the initial MRI evaluation judged the lesion’s metastasis as “inconclusive,” the scan also showed a “hotspot” in the bone marrow under the lesion. I learned the serious nature of this type of diagnosis when another bone lesion was discovered on my lower leg 3-years ago. That lesion eventually proved to be unchanging over time, and my medical team deduced it to be nothing more than an old adventure trekking injury. Unfortunately, I also learned that metastasis to the hip and pelvis regions were far more common cancer events, so my current team is taking this event very seriously. Many more tests and evaluations are scheduled in the coming days, and then we will have more clarity on the situation.
Learning to be More Vulnerable
After surviving my first cancer diagnosis several years ago, I walked away from my old conventional life, gave away most of my possessions, left my home behind, and began traveling near and far. Throughout this journey, I have been blessed to meet and share time with incredible people from all over the world, and from all walks of life. I met special souls who lived each day with strength, resilience, self-compassion, and a courageous vulnerability that I had never known. Through their examples, and the healing I have experienced in my own heart, today I can finally be vulnerable enough to ask you the following:
I wish to do more than just survive. I wish to continue to give back, to have a purpose in life, that this purpose is to help others, and that I am worthy of that purpose.
The “Favor” I ask of you today is to support and amplify those wishes.
So, if you are kind enough and inclined to do so, please send along any supportive thoughts, healing energies, and prayers you’d like to send that will support my wishes and for whole-hearted healing and the best outcomes possible,
With deepest gratitude and love for you all, Bruce
From Bruce Watkins
Producer and Host of the Our Cancer Journey Podcast.