So I did it, and you know what? It was great! My short speech to the ladies at the Arizona Country Club's Rally for a Cure luncheon was a true success. I was of course nervous, but public speaking is something that is fairly comfortable for me, while I know it sends many people running for the hills.
During my career as a construction executive, I made formal presentations on a weekly basis to highfalutin business owners, and actually trained my superintendents on how to do the same. That was pretty fun. Trying to convince those guys not to chew tobacco and avoid the word "ain't" at interviews with presidents and CEO's was quite a task. At least I knew not to do those things at the Country Club.
Nick came along for moral support, sweet guy, and I even found a few friends in the crowd of about a hundred. Michelle, who organized the very pink and perfectly appointed luncheon, put me at ease and filled me with encouragement before I hit the podium. I didn't stumble on my words and I didn't shed a tear. A few gals in the audience did, which was pretty amazing to see. They laughed at the appropriate times and sighed when I got to the heavy parts. I avoided eye contact with Nick as to keep myself composed and focused.
Although it was completely gratuitous, the audience actually gave me a standing ovation at the end of my talk. It was then that I shed a tear or two myself, more in relief than anything else.
I've questioned myself as to why I feel so comfortable talking and writing about this subject of my cancer experience. I think it's a combination of a few things. First, though I've been to hell and back, it still doesn't feel like it's happening to me. I'm detached from it. I still feel like I'm watching someone else's life unfold in front of me. Isn't that strange? And second, I feel it's my duty to report on the inside goings-on of a cancer patient. I know that not everyone will have this privilege (smirk) of my experience, and I find it important to honestly share the behind the scenes scoop. And finally, if I share my story, maybe I won't feel so alone and so scared. By revealing my true feelings about all that is happening, I'm bringing my readers along with me for the ride. Misery loves company? No. It's more like strength in numbers.
So will I do it again? I sure hope so. I'm actually receiving encouragement to pursue public speaking as a possible career. Who knows, it might be the start of something. I love making plans for my future.