Raise your hand if your life is going exactly as you planned. That’s what I thought… no hands going up. It doesn’t mean your life is not wonderful. Many milestones and mountain top experiences are complete surprises. And since no one ever asks for dark, challenging times, I’d say they are outside the plan as well.
Instead of a scripted and well-rehearsed play, sometimes our lives seem more like an improv sketch comedy show. We take whatever is thrown at us and make the best of it. To keep the improv going, there’s an unwritten rule among improv actors to say yes to the suggestions of other actors. You can bring the scene to a screeching halt if you don’t accept each change. It’s best to just react and keep moving.
My brother Jeff got a big surprise thrown at him 2 years ago when he was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. At first there was a script for treatment – 2 stem cell transplants and chemo (12 coordinated months) He heroically fought through the nausea and the hair loss and the funky side effects and got his “bad” number down to single digits last month!
Now the script is gone and it’s improv time. His doctor continues to make adjustments to his ongoing chemo, trying to get the number down to 0 to 2 so they can declare remission. His current drug Revlimid, in conjunction with the powerful steroid Dexamethasone, is working on the myeloma but is also affecting his overall muscle strength, making it harder to do things we all take for granted.
We already planned to run the Chicago Marathon together this October – my brother Jeff, brother Brad and myself. We will be improvising by running, jogging, walking and possibly crawling if necessary. We will complete the 26.2 miles as a way to raise money for research and a way for Jeff to show once again what he is made of. I believe that will power is a much better measure of a person’s heart than athletic perfection.
If you would like to be a part of this improv, we would love to have you on the team! Here are three things you can do to keep the scene moving:
- Give if you can to support life-saving research
- Spread the word by sharing this post in social media
- Send a message of support to Jeff in the comments below
The script is gone and it’s time to react. Let’s work together to make sure the scene goes on and on and on. The resolution will be improvised!