The gravely-voiced Fox Business anchor has always been one of my favorites (as far as news anchors go) for one reason — he’s consistently gracious, even-tempered, and fact-oriented, even with the most ridiculous of guests.
Yesterday, Cavuto published on article on LinkedIn, talking about his life with Multiple Sclerosis.
He was diagnosed with MS after surviving cancer, and has gone on to have a successful career, though not without obstacles. More than once he’s gone blind on air, and suddenly been unable to walk. His solution? Adapt.
“Focus on what I can do, not what I can’t do. And if I can do a lot, so can lots of folks dragging far heavier anchors than this particular anchor. I wish I could be more profound, but I’ve got a show to do, and all of us have lives to lead,” he concludes.
When I was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I knew little about the disease. I guess I was just relieved it wasn’t the advanced cancer I had battled and beaten just a few years earlier. That one darn near killed me. What I didn’t realize was this new illness would completely redefine me and my role at work.
I’ve heard MS described as a mercurial menace in that it can rob senses and muscles indiscriminately, anytime and anywhere. It’s a disease that doesn’t much care about what you’re doing when one, or several, of its infamous exacerbations hits. All I know is it hits hard, and to this day, I never seem quite ready when it does. Over the years, it has literally taken the legs right out from under me. There are times when I can’t walk, other times when I am walking as if I’m dragging an anchor, as I’m trying to “be” an anchor.
Its vagaries are as weird as their fallout is fast. Mid-shows, I’ve been blinded, literally, as my vision is all but blacked out. Adjusting to that alone took years. I’m now at the point I no longer use a TelePrompTer at all, not because I’m smooth, but because I have no choice. I’ve taken to memorizing scripts and bullet points, even guests’ points of views and myriad of segment facts, so I’m ready for anything, any time. These weren’t choices I wanted to make; these were choices I “had” to make. It’s all about compensating — and recovering. I’ve gotten pretty good at this, or at least faster reacting to this — adjusting for muscles that might suddenly fail me or a brain that might short-circuit on me. It’s always the same drill — work with what works in my body, and don’t panic over what’s not.
Don’t get the idea I’m some unique talent; it’s more like a desperate gambler trying not to have others see my very weak hand. MS is about playing on with the cards you’re dealt — and just dealing.
Long gone are the initial days with this disease when I was forever lashing out and feeling like a victim. For one thing, my wife wouldn’t hear it. And for another, I just got tired sounding like the self-absorbed TV anchor I was, constantly whining about it.
When asked about the inherent unfairness of life, John Kennedy famously said: We all breathe the same air, but we are not all given the same time to breathe it. He was describing the randomness of a soldier killed in battle to another assigned a safe desk job half a world away. Such is fate. Such is life.
You can read the rest of the post here.
Go forth and be inspired. I know I am.
[Featured image a screen shot from this YouTube video]
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