Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Get Up Eight

There are so many layers to this that are really hard.

The first is the cancer itself, the bad feeling in your gut, the waiting, the diagnosis, hearing the words, feeling the fear, gnawing on the what ifs like an animal chewing off its own foot to escape an iron trap.

Then there's the treatment, cancer treatment.  Assault after assault on your body and your spirit and psyche, to become cancer free.  Often at the expense of other areas of your health or physical appearance, the collateral damage of treatment.

As difficult and trying as those are, and they are, there is another constant challenge nobody talks about or prepares you for - the dashing of your expectations, the glitches, the human error and bureaucracy, and the loss of control throughout the process.

Life is chaotic.  So is nature.  Random things happen.  We have no control over our environment, only our thoughts about it.  Our biggest mistake is making any kind of assumption about how things will go, or thinking we have control over any of it.

I think I am doing really well and then some small thing happens that shakes me.  I went to receive my recent biopsy results by myself; Husband had a big meeting he could not miss that day.  I got myself there and braved through those moments waiting for my name to be called, waiting in the exam room, waiting for her to speak and tell me the news.  I did it.  Guts of steel.

A few days later my son had a band competition in a neighboring city about an hour away.  I was going by myself, as I had done many times before.  I had a feeling of absolute panic that morning, getting ready, almost not going, then driving in the rain to get there.  Worried I would be late.  Worried I would not find him.  Worried I would get lost.  Scared.  Just scared, of what I do not know.  It was brutal.  I was doing something I've done many times, but that morning, I was afraid to go out into the world.  The only thing that made me go is the look on my son's face when he sees his Mom is there.  And I was there.  I did it.  Guts of pudding.

I think this panic attack was left over adrenaline from earlier in the week.  My guard was down.  The fear I had been stuffing and keeping at bay revealed itself when I least expected it.

Yesterday when my appointment was cancelled, it shook me hard, and that initially puzzled me.  Surely I have done much harder things than this and waited for far worse.

I realize I am still making assumptions, with every piece of information I get, or whenever I think there is a plan.  I run with it, calculating all the variables like college math.  I had not accounted for the Dr. calling in sick, or her staff not making me a priority to get back on her schedule right away.  I hadn't counted on any of that.  I had a moment of devastation.  Powerless.

Assumptions.  Expectations.  The harder you hold on to them, the more you suffer.  This is such a hard thing to learn but is so classically human, being arrogant in our beliefs that we can defy the chaotic order of things.

I see now that it is a miracle when things go smoothly!  That is not the usual order of things.  Those are the miracles!

You ever look at a skyscraper or a magnificent bridge and see our human arrogance in it?  We all believe we can control and shape and conquer our world.

I am doing my best to lean into the uncertainty, lean into all that I do not have control over, while trying to keep my wits about me.  It's hard.  Really hard.

Sometimes I think I must be doing it all wrong when the glitches and detours and unexpected hits me like a punch in the gut, and down I go.

There there now, I tell myself.  It's ok.

It's not how quick you fell.

It's how quick you get back up.

Like the proverb says Fall seven times, get up eight.

I'm up.
 

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Deb, for another insightful post. Sometimes the impossibly intricate, complicated steps of our minds and hearts get difficult - and we stumble. But we keep showing up for the dancing lessons. Thanks for sharing your strength, once again.
Love,
T

Mimi said...

And you have many people supporting you from a distance!

Hugs & love,
Mimi

Mollye said...

Good morning sweekins, You have inspired me once again to face the day and vow to live it to my fullest. Hugs, Mollye

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