Sunday, August 29, 2010

Wash, Rinse, Repeat and A Wounded Pink Elephant

After two restless, turbulent nights of scant sleep and decadron (crack for cancer patients), I find the deprivation and drugged state leads to mounting anxiety and obsessive thinking.  I refer to this as the "Wash, Rinse, and Repeat" cycle of over thinking and tail chasing.  I lived this whole day here, and like the little hamster on the wheel, got no where, fast.

My thoughts were encumbered by some ancient personal issues in me, as well as my version of Custer's Last Stand - resistance towards the path, towards which way the horse is facing, towards what is coming, the inevitable that cannot be fairy tale'd away.

Let me spell it out very simply to you.

You ever been to the La Brea Tar Pits?  Seen those lakes of tar, all bubbling and stinking and inescapable for the prehistoric creatures that wandered in a little too close?  And then the tar baby effect, first a hand is caught and then a foot, then trying to free those, now both hands and feet are in the enveloping goo.  Before you know it, you are sinking like quick sand into the black creature while it morphs around you, seemingly devouring you.

Raise your hand if your own thoughts have created this holodeck of tar for yourself, and you spent the better part of a late night and a day and into this night trying to extricate yourself.

Oh.  Just me.  I raise my hand.

I am stuck in review material.  I am hitting the replay button expecting a different result.  I am trying to crash through another wall of denial regarding this diagnosis, my upcoming surgery, loss of the familiar me, fear of the new me.   It's just the familiar malaise revisited when you are kicking and screaming to hold on to what is leaving,

and blocking the door to keep out what is coming.

Damn.

Breathe.  Breathe.  Breathe.

Wherever you go, there you are, it's just that now, in addition to all your usual stuff, you've got cancer, are dealing with the effects and side effects of treatment, and crashing into menopause like a pink elephant into a fragile tower of one thousand stacked crystal glasses.

That "you" referred to up there is me, and my pink tutu is reeking in champagne and shards of crystal are embedded in my bleeding elephant feet.

Oh these highs and lows, sensing good is on the way, and the next day, walking through the valley of the shadow of death.

So much of this is out of my control, and so much of my suffering is in my complete control.

How much longer before suffering loses its allure to me?

I keep thinking I'm there, and then, I'm there again.

Breathe.  Breathe.  Breathe.

This is how it feels sometimes doing your soul's work.

Most of which, has nothing to do, with cancer.

Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.


He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.


You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

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