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On October 18, 2017, I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I know, that sounds devastating, doesn't it? It was, in a way. But for some reason, it didn't affect me in the way that it affects most people. I didn't cry. I wasn't upset. I think that comes from being a court reporter. I sincerely believe that I wouldn't have been as positive if I weren't a court reporter. As we all know, being a court reporter makes you tough and thicken up your skin. If you don't have a strong constitution, you will not make it in this business. When you take an assignment, you have to get it done. Court reporters are under the belief that we can't go to our own funeral until we finish the transcript that's due. Once it's done, we can attend our own funeral.
After hearing the diagnosis, I told the doctor that I could not cry. I wear Mac make-up. I have to have a return from my investment. Mac ain't cheap by no means. I had a week to adjust to the diagnosis before I met my oncology doctor. During that week, I had no time to think about cancer. I had transcripts to put out. I didn't want to think about it. To my family, it was a death sentence. To me, it was in the way of my life. It was in the way, period. I had a 3-day trial coming up. I was counting potential pages. I really did not have time for this. This is aggravating.
My oncology doctor quickly found out how to tick a busy court reporter off. He had the nerve to tell me that I would live anywhere from six months to a year. REALLY NOW? Who was he to tell me when I was going to die? He could go before me if he walked out in front of a bus. Plus, he don't know the God I serve. And on top of all that, I could be doing a transcript instead of listening this BS. It is amazing that court reporters measure time by how they could be editing a transcript. There is nothing that irks a court reporter more than someone wasting their time when they could be doing a transcript. I'm sure all of you can relate. I was annoyed by him telling me a mortality rate instead of coming up with a plan for immortality. Court reporters have a hard time accepting something negative that deals with I-can't-do type of negativity. You are not going to tell a court reporter what they can and cannot do or what normally is done. Court reporters feel like they are invincible. Well, this court reporter does. If we can stay up all night to put out an expedite, then a court reporter can't see why others can't do the job to the best of their ability. We just don't buy it.
With that being said, I'm not buying this mortality rate mess. I have already out lived his prediction. On top of that, I still live my life as I always have before my diagnosis with some minor life-style adjustments. Currently, I take an immunotherapy pill twice daily along with other pills that check conditions and symptoms that accompanied cancer. I can't work at the same pace as before; however, I can still work. I am blessed to be able to have a great support system that keeps me going.
In closing, I owe my positiveness to being a court reporter. The toughness, the will to keep going, and being able adapt is part of the training court reporters receive. Making it through court reporting school will prepare you not to react adversity. I thank God that I'm a court reporter.
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