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Up Periscope

Journal, day 8…

When you’ve had cancer and it resurfaces, it’s a bit like being under water…

Fears eddy up and subside, waves of anticipation wash over you and bubbles of information float by with sometimes heartening news, and sometimes not.

When you are standing face to face with your path… with your destiny I guess, you are looking into this void of unknowing and trying to figure out how to be… but where do you go for the informed outlook? How do you ease yourself into the place where you can be comfortable with the upcoming turn in the road and yet prepared for the unforeseen…

Concrete facts, when possible, are the key to sanity… knowing what you are dealing with is the first step toward the great unknown. We are so blessed to have the procedures we have available today, albeit they cost an arm and a leg… The PET scan and the MRI were both clean… there does not appear to be any “activity” of cancer growth anywhere in my body, including the place where my melanoma resurfaced… or more accurately, recurred. This is so very good.

Lisa Jones’ new book, Broken (Simon and Schuster) happened to be what I was reading when all of this came down. This passage resonates for me… “But experiences fade. Sameness will have it’s day, every day. We wake every morning pretty much the same as we were the day before, because that’s how we like it, and because anything else would be scary.” Maybe that is what cancer does to you… it pours you into experience and re-defines sameness. It is more than scary, it is a wake-up call on steroids.

Short term, you excavate deeply and widely and hopefully remove all possibilities for future recurrences. Long term? Maybe the solution for me could be similar to gardening… when I pay attention, I sense distress, thirst, hunger … my plants tell me what they need… I am attracted to the ones which need my intervention… so maybe I should garden my body? Maybe one can harvest one’s health… Whatever your formula, information ~ understanding ~ sympathy… Your body is your garden… Read up, listen, hear, cultivate.

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