One of the things I continue to hear from my cancer patients, and their families, is that they became more "feisty" after their cancer diagnosis. Their BS meter is much more sensitive post-diagnosis than pre. Their tolerance for idle chit-chat, or small talk, is less. They are more interested in getting down to business than circling wagons. They don't want to be patronized. They want freedom, control, ability, knowledge. They have little patience for, "You ought to . . . "
So I asked Scott, "Has my personality changed since my cancer diagnosis?" And yes, and he used the same term, "feisty." However, he did say that my fire has become steadier over the years, the longer I'm out the calmer I've become. And I think it's because I'm continually learning that refinement is a process for more than coal and diamonds. A fire, even a refiner's fire, begins hot, coal hot, and then the temperature adjusts as time goes on, but heat needs to be engaged first. And with cancer and cancer treatments, "If the fire's too hot, get out," is not a possibility. So, we stay in the heat, and then adjust our feistyness as time moves forward.
But there's not another way. There is no way that a woman, or man, thrown into the cancer journey can survive in that fire without fighting that fire with fire, finding their voice, saying yes or no, gaining knowledge, and being their best, and worst, friend.
"You either fear the fire, or you simply become it," is a grand definition of one's cancer journey, or any journey that changes us - by forcing us to face our worst nightmares, and working through them, by being in the middle. And that's where feisty comes from.
I am feisty. I am fine with that. I can blaze a path or walk on coals. I am also refined. I am happy with calm and a paved trail. But when the need arises, I am strong and furious and feisty!