Wednesday, February 22, 2023

More revealed, and yet to come...

 Ah well... my pathology report indicates the Big C, as in cancer (though I'm hoping for little c), damn it. At this point, I have an MRI scheduled and a consultation to talk about next steps and next decisions, so am still, again, in waiting mode.

As I've recently quoted, "waiting is an action." I think of times I made a poor decision rather than sit still, as well as the times (more so in these later years of recovery) when I was able to actually pause for the next right thing to present itself, like when I felt pressure around work when waiting for clarification was all I could really do. I'm reminded of the suggestion, "If you don't know what to do, don't do anything." Ha! Easy for you to say.

Waiting takes so many forms - waiting for my dear mother to die, waiting for test results, waiting for a phone call, for time to pass (sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly) with the choice to spin, or simply get on with the day. Dentist appointment, regular meetings, a trip to the grocery store, my usual morning walks, laundry...  the beat goes on.

I had a sweet time visiting my good friend this past weekend, with a drive out to the spectacular Point Reyes on the northern California coast. I must say that while I was in awe of the amazing beauty and power of crashing waves, a herd of deer, a tough walk down and up 313 stairs (each way!) to the lighthouse, I felt somewhat muted, like I was in a fog - probably because I was in a fog. I was trying not to think about the biopsy results, but of course, in trying not to think about it, that's what I was thinking about. 

There are lessons here about self-acceptance vs self-criticism, as well as letting go of the "should's," especially as related to emotions. I'm also aware of my inner addict yelling, "F-it! Let's get pizza!" before my saner self remembers that it is likely best to be on my game for this next leg of the journey rather than slogging my way through a cheese and ice cream fest on the couch. 

I do so appreciate all who've reached out to let me know of their own cancer journeys. When the nurse asked about my support system, I told her I'm covered in that department. Whether it is a close friend who has my back, those good friends who've "been there, done that," or the many acquaintances who've also walked this path, in AA and Alanon, I do know I am never alone. 

I have plans for a fear inventory, and maybe more Step 4 or 10 writing (these would be the pen to paper inventories rather than columns - often the simple act of writing what I'm feeling, leads me to truths and insights I might not have otherwise reached). And, as I've said and been told, I'm putting one foot in front of the other. The biopsy doc thanked me for staying calm, saying it made their work easier. I wanted to tell him that in my family, we're good patients - calm, and we do as we're told, usually with a dose of humor. 

I may be in denial, but I truly don't feel this is my time to die. I might need to go through a bit of a rough patch, but my confidence is bolstered by all those (and I mean ALL THOSE) I know who've walked through this journey, or one similar, extremely grateful that this is 2023 with all the medical advances, not 1950.  So, as Mary Oliver writes, what am I to do with this one wild and precious life? 

What that meant on the way to the dentist was giving a few bucks to a street person, directing him to an agency where he could get socks and gloves. I have troubling circumstances, but I am so fortunate. Another earthquake in Turkey and Syria? My "problems" are miniscule. I have a warm home, a strong marriage, good insurance, and great friends, a full pantry and gas in the car. Life is good, even when it may seem otherwise.

Thank you in advance for your well wishes. I'm more a text and email gal on a good day, and that hasn't changed much, so if you phone, don't be offended if I don't pick up. Sometimes talking can feel overwhelming, especially when I don't yet know exactly what I'm talking about. One day at a time, this too shall pass, turn it over - thank goodness for the silly sayings that come to me automatically. Stay tuned, and thank you for coming along for the ride.

How do you put one foot in front of the other when the road of happy destiny seems rocky? Who do you call on for support? What slogans or program tools do you rely on to get you through what can feel like a tough time? How does a gratitude practice fit in?

* * *

See the Jan 13, 2023 post for a sample of the "I've Been Sober a Long Time - Now What?" workbook with 78 pages of topics, member's views, and processing questions. Available in PDF format for those of you outside the US (or who prefer that format) or hardcopy mailed to you. Email me at with questions. Note that the workbook is also available at Portland Area Intergroup at 825 NE 20th 

1 comment:

  1. Sending care and support pledges for anything I can provide. Robin B