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After All, a Rock Is Still a Bunch of Grains of Something

Look up. That picture is me. The rock. Everybody’s rock. I am the person that throughout my life has been there for everyone else, so it is a little unsurprising that at this time I still put everyone else’s needs before my own. My kids, my family…strangers? Everyone. It has clouded every attempt I have made at survivable personal relationships, and it affects my ability to let people in.

So much for the guy whose sixth Commitment is Humility, which includes some notion of vulnerability, which I like many many people don’t feel is a worthy emotion in myself. In others? Yes. Shows humanity. In me? 1970’s/1980’s male offspring? Yeah not in me.

But even a rock can crumble.

I think I am a little right now. My oncology psychiatrist says it is normal, but for a guy who normally sits in her chair and on her side of the table, that is a little harder to grasp when you are living it. But the last few days have been great while being pulled down by a new normal. I don’t like the new normal. Not today anyway.

The good: I feel better than I have since I found out I have cancer. That’s six months. If my spinal progress (aka, walking) were to max out here? I could live with that. We have done some great stuff with our mission, having started to get clients again despite the uptick in the pandemic. My book is in pseudo-edit, and while I have a little more to write, it is done. My other book is finally getting reviews and sales. Etc. Etc.

The bad is kinda…yeah well…not so good, and is focused around this disease that has chosen to make it’s home inside my body. (News flash: there are better neighborhoods). Last week I did some tumor marking tests. Obviously the numbers are high, but without going into what is likely good detail, they went up this past period (60 days), and up is bad. Strangely, it is after a steep decline, which despite the lower number still resulted in another big tumor in my lung and a second in my colon. We changed chemo when it went down. What does this mean?

So Thursday I had a CT scan, full body, and tomorrow I get to put all the pieces together. And – yes I am admitting it – I am a little frightened about it. Me, the guy who in high school was dared to ride on the hood of a car going 60 mph and I did it – without fear – just because I was dared to. Take that Marty McFly.

Anyhow…yeah I am a little scared about it and I don’t know why. It is not because I am scared of the results, not for me anyway, because I am not sure that ship ever sailed into port. I know what the results mean: absolutely nothing in a vacuum. Holistically I feel good. Many of my initial symptoms are gone, including poor mobility and the very crappy ability to feel my lungs. I know nothing about the CT scan results, yet somehow the guy who teaches Mindfulness is projecting an emotional image on what hasn’t occurred yet. I would quote a line from Green Mile here, but I do not offend. It starts with “What in the name of” and contains the word “blue.”

I don’t expect the rock to crumble, but for today, the rock is crumbling. Not from fear, but I suspect it is from lack of control? Maybe? Either way for a guy who normally flirts with depression (I also have an odd form of Bipolar Disorder), that is a trigger I do not need. But because of my pre-disposition to a lack of trust in my relationships, it still causes me to recoil when I think of opening up.

Talk about a conundrum.

I will make it through this, the same as I will beat this cancer. I may have to live with it for the rest of my days, but I think I got 25, 30, or even 40 years of this. And I can do this. I will do this. My challenge is going to be not doing it alone. Which is not to discount the power of the Tribe that reads this – and I love y’all for it. But you can’t be here when my being shifts this much.

So back to the meditation corner it is. I promised you total transparency…I think this qualifies. Wish me luck tomorrow. I would really like to follow this up with some good news.

Peace –

Redd

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