Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Honeymoon is Over

One thing that has been consistent for almost the entire (soon to be) two years, is a thought that often brings tears to my eyes. And that is having to accept that what is happening to me - not necessarily cancer, but a health crisis with possibility of either death or serious life altering circumstances - is going to happen to either me or someone close to me.

Before this diagnosis, it was "other people" who dealt with such things. And it's now that I realize, in the context in which I am speaking, there are no "other people." I am - we are - those people. I have a deeper appreciation for life than I had before I was a diagnosed with cancer and equally a deeper appreciation for life than I had before I became a father. And I also know I am very blessed to have the strength I have had throughout this process. Blessed in the sense that it is not my strength, but a strength I have been graced with. I am not proud of it. I am grateful for it.

And where the pain arises is when I find myself in thought about who in my life will be next and if it will be someone close and dear to me. A powerful gift inside of my experience has been a familiarity with how to stay strong and positive in the face of circumstances that have at times been nothing short of terrifying. Tears ran down my cheeks this evening as I thought to myself, "I don't want anymore strength training. Not with my own health. Not with the health of those I love." And I don't have a choice. The honeymoon is over. The relationship is still sweet, but reality has set in. There is more to come one way or another. I can choose what's so and be with it or pretend life is something it is not. And what has gotten me this far is by choosing what's so. And naturally that is what I will do, but I'm not there yet. At least not today.

1 comment:

  1. Bert,

    Acceptance is the only key to serenity that I have found, but it is hard when people you care about are diagnosed with cancer. I think it is harder than being diagnosed myself, because all I can do is witness their journey and pray for their health. At least when I was the patient, I was focused on my internal fight for survival, which kept me from giving in to the fear. And I was not afraid of death, but I am afraid of being left behind when other people die. However, I also see that people can look to me as a survivor, and it can help them remain hopeful. That, and the knowledge we have accrued during treatment, is the gift that we can give as survivors.