Going slowly, but not stopping

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

Nothing quite like eating nothing for +/- 40 hours and downing a quart of Half-Lightly to really clean out the… Mind! You thought I was going to say body, guts, or colon: anything like that right. That’s far too obvious.

Nope, it’s the mind. After getting beyond the hunger (which does pass), after the caffeine headache realizes it’s defeat, and the guts have been flushed, you start to slow down. You don’t have the energy to get worked up about things and the body and mind conserve for crisis. Now then, provided there are no impending crises on the horizon, you are set to Buddha the heck out of the rest of your day. Frankly, the Demerol you get for the colonoscopy doesn’t hurt either.

So yes, I’ll admit that on this, the eve of the one-year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis,  I was feeling a bit anxious about the follow up colonoscopy I was party to this afternoon. And was thinking about the curious timing of many of my procedures. It’s as if the spirits that be are not going to let me cop-out and forget 2009 no matter how hard and fast I cross the days off the calendar in order to finally hang our 2010. Sweet Jesus, I don’t care if it’s full of cute kitty and puppy picture with captions like “hang in there, baby” and “keep it up, kiddo”, just as long as it says 2010 all over it.

You know what is really curious. I actually didn’t realize or accept that I had stage 4 cancer (and I mean HAD!) until after the last chemo. I know the doctors told us, but it turns out I am a professional at putting my virtual fingers in my ears and disregarding the scary stuff. And to that I owe a big thanks to all the men in my life that made me watch horror movies. I never thought there could be any good reason for that genre of film, but it turns out tuning out is the benefit.

Seems to me a good recipe for near death or any number of crises of humankind might be:

1 tsp of reality
2 tsp of denial
1 tsp of grace
2 tablespoons of humor
3 tablespoons of self-love and acceptance
2 cups of belief
2 cups of hope and prayers filled by others
And a couple pinches of vanilla (because I have found that vanilla makes almost everything better).

Like any good recipe it seems the baking and the making takes forever. And while it is in the oven you watch it, wait and hope it doesn’t fall because you may have clomped about too much. When it emerges from the oven it is delicate and too hot, so you continue to admire and wait and hope it is all right. Then, finally, you get to taste it. And then all that time it took; all the working, the waiting,  the hoping, and the cooling, slips from your mind the way a dew drop falls from a leaf when jostled and disappears into the undergrowth, swiftly and gently.

And although you have tasted it before, life has never quite tasted as full and good as this.

5 Responses to “Going slowly, but not stopping”

  1. Cynthia T. Says:

    Lina,

    I am so moved by the depth, humor and imagery of your post. And I think we all would agree, you are the Julia Childs of existential recipes. What a mind-boggling journey. And yet another phenominal milestone to have passed.

    And “denial’ is a word with many meanings, I’ve found. When you get a psycho-nightmare diagnosis like you did, I think it is exactly right not to take in the stage four part, but as you showed us, focus on the the mother-bear warrior woman you were/are which is what mattered the most.

    We’ll all be thinking of you as we usher in 2010 with bells on our toes.

    love by the truckloads, Lina
    Cynthia

  2. Jane Says:

    Lina,

    Thank you once again for sharing your wisdom. The recipe I am going keep in a handy spot.

    I love you. goddess of the north,

    moi

  3. Ann Says:

    Makes me miss you so much reading that. Also seeing your beautiful face snuggly tucked inside a warm cozy hat. I have been thinking a lot about your year mark and remembering talking to Adrian during that time. You kicked ass Lina!

  4. Meghan Says:

    I hope your colonoscopy comes back negative, negative, negative for bad stuff so you can be even more positive, positive, positive. We’re thinking about you here in Seattle. I can’t imagine what you’ve been through and continue to go through.

  5. astockhouch Says:

    Authentic words, some truthful words dude. You rocked my day!!

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