Waking up this morning I was struck with the realization…..
I am no longer tethered to a machine. I am no longer walking sleepy-eyed to the refrigerator to grab a pod of antibiotics to do my first of three daily infusions. I am no longer bound to my home waiting for a home care nurse to come and assist me with the removal of a filter that adheres to my wounds. I am no longer removing infection laden pads. I am no longer a carrier of cancer.
It has been 9 months since I was given the announcement of my cancer and the subsequent struggle with wound infection that had laid deep within my abdomen. The same time to give birth to a new life oddly enough.
It finally hit me that it was finally over. I had always wondered if this moment would come and here it is….. and it came like a whisper. Most of the journey was held in silence of my small home along with a occassional pulling of the curtains to give others a glimpse of the internal as I peered out to the external. It is my nature to hold things closely to myself. I think there was a time that I was more forthcoming in my struggles but most of the time I kept the private to myself. I hated my disease. I had moments that I cried why to the only One that could hear me as I dealt with my infections. Yet, there are moments that I am still pissed at the loss of the moments and the things that mattered so much to me. It took away my identity of health and the ability to join in with others who shared the joy of running. It took away my ability to take care of my beautiful four-legged friend which I eventually and reluctantly gave away to a friend. It stole from me the ability to truly enjoy a season that I look forward to the most. It took so much from me. I hated this cancer and infection with every fiber left in my being.
Still as much as I struggled with the recent past, I am somewhat scared of the present. It is not that I have not tried to learn and to be prepared for this day to come but I think that somewhere in the depth of my mind I wondered if this day would ever get here. In fact, I may not have only wondered… I may have even doubted.
I have realized along the way that as much as the cancer took away it also gave to me. It gave to me a way of living. A life that is open to possibilities. A possibility that a life, and for that matter a day, can be taken as much as it can be given. I have come to realize that there are a finite number of pages to the calendar. Also, health is more than just the ability to lace on a pair of running shoes to pound on the pavement. Health is a way of not just looking at life but it is also a way of sharing it and living it. To live a healthy life is not to ignore the inner voice of criticism but to identify it. To not embrace it with a smothering kind of parental love but hold it in a way that says you understand your own fears. To recognize the voice of self criticism as an insecurity that shouldn’t control you but allow it be one of your guides on your path to even more greater awareness. To recoginize that insecurities in our minds are not meant to be stop signs but to be a sign that tell us to slow down as we move forward. As we become aware of our own being, we will learn to hear our heart when it says stop…… and when it says to go.
This journey has helped me to know that the richness in dreams and visions is measured not in the vividness of each one but in the vitality in which it changes my life. It helped me to see that to stand naked in vulnerability is the truest form of honesty. Honesty with myself and with others.
This morning was so much different from the days before. Oh there weren’t any blue birds whistling on the window sill. The sun was not any brighter than the day before nor was the grass any greener. It was just different. The reflections of the recent struggles are now just that…. mere reflections. The past is not given to us to carry but to learn from. It is a book on the shelves of our hearts. A book to be open from time to time to remind us of where we have been and how it can be used to guide us when we seem to lose our way within the present and within ourselves.
Today is the present moment that I have and that is all that I am responsible for; to hold as a valuable chalice that I can pour my life into. I look to the future and prepare for it with a heart filled with desire but with no expectations. I am at peace with who I am and who I am becoming. I look back at a life that I once struggled with…. and even admitted to my teacher that I hated. A life that once was filled with regrets, mistakes and shame. I no longer hate it….. it serves as a reminder of what life could be if I do not become vulnerable.
So the “birthing pain” of the kidney stone is now coming to the end of its nine month journey. As a colt that wobbles with new legs, so I struggle to stand at this moment. I will take each day as guided by those that I trust….. guided by the lessons that I have learned….. guided by the One that loves me the deepest…..