You Can’t Keep ESFPs Down

We know two ESFPs, Rockley and Suzi, who are married to each other. This summer, my family has watched them go through a crisis, and we’ve had a chance to learn a lot about their type.
They found out that Rockley had cancer of the throat, which is dreadful news. They felt all of the grief and fear that any family would feel after such news.  

What amazed my family were the faces they showed to the world throughout the ordeal. Instead of behaving downcast and sad, they never stopped smiling, laughing, chatting happily and having fun with each other and their friends. 

After I first heard the news, I phoned Suzi. She was cheerful as she told me about the kind doctor who had diagnosed Rockley’s cancer, and their adventures in finding the best doctors for his treatments. 

A few weeks later, their three kids came home for a visit and to discuss the future. The whole family and some of their friends came to our house loaded with pizza boxes, bottles of beer and home made cookies. We sat in the back yard and talked happily about their plans to re-paint Rockley’s bedroom, find a deal on a Vitamix so they can make him liquid meals during his chemo, and the availability of a milkshake from Smoothie King made especially for cancer patients called “The Hulk.”

In the weeks that followed, people were coming to see them, and they were entertaining everyone. On the evening before he checked into the hospital for surgery, Rockley was partying until dawn with his family in their hotel room. 

A week after his surgery, they were all over at our house again for another fun get-together. Rockley, sitting there with a healing scar on his throat, excitedly told us about new computer programs he had found to help him work from home while he convalesces, and new people he had hired at the dance studio he owns. He had even found a way to make more money from all of these changes.   

He was taking part in several drug trials so he was on the phone making arrangements with the nurses and doctors in charge of those trials. His kids had spent the week cleaning out their parents’ bedroom and repainting it, and they were showing iPhone pictures of all of the bags of clothes they took to Goodwill.

In the weeks that followed, when he was undergoing chemo and radiation treatments, every time I called to get an update, Suzi had me laughing with some funny story about Rockley. A month into his treatments, he had so much energy from the steroids they were giving him that he was cleaning out their house and finding things they thought were lost for ten years. When he wasn’t doing that, he was watching re-runs of “The Big Bang Theory” and laughing his head off.

Even when he had to be admitted to the hospital with a blood infection, after Suzi told me the grim details, she told me what a lovely private room they had given him, and how it was like a luxury hotel.

When the chemo and radiation were finished, the doctor said he should take it easy. Suzi asked the doctor, “Does that include moving furniture, scraping fences and power washing the deck?” In order to get him to sit still, his son brought over a 4,000-piece puzzle of Times Square. “It’s all over my dining room table,” said Suzi, “We have no place to eat because the kitchen table is covered in his papers. I have got to get this man out of the house. You can’t string him up. That’s against the law.”

“Who were you talking to?’ my husband asked, wondering why I was in stitches on the phone. “It was Suzi,” I said. “We were talking about Rockley’s cancer.”

For this ESFP couple, cancer has been many things, but most of all, it’s been another reason to be with friends, meet new people, and learn new things and laugh. I don’t know what it’s like for them in the dark, when they’re alone. All I know is that I’m amazed by the genuinely sunny faces they show to the world, and I’m grateful for what they have taught me. Even when we’re facing the worst, life still has endless possibilities for positive experiences, and it seems that ESFPs will always remind us of that.


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