Tuesday, March 27, 2012

House of Cards

It's your favorite guest blogger; Pete! Here for another installation of my musings and dark ramblings. This one's been a long time coming, but alot, and nothing has happened since my last post. So some changes in perspective and a little help in the positive thinking department from starting Qi gong (chinese breathing & healing meditation techniques used in Kung Fu):

My life feels like an Allstate commercial. You know, the one with the animated car driving through various hazards that appear; wicked storms, avoiding falling rocks, trees, power lines, maybe a squirrel or two. I didn't get any warning that said 'Hazards Ahead' in my life. More like bad MapQuest directions that take you to the middle of nowhere on a windy mountain road that dead-ends, leaving you wondering; "How the Hell did I get here?!" Navigating life's obstacles had typically been fairly straight forward till now: hit obstacle, devise plan, execute. It's even still felt that way since my diagnosis; this is what it is, this is what we can do, this is what we can't do, ready... go! That is until 2 weeks ago, sitting in another oncologist's office, this time down near Phoenix at the Western Cancer Treatment Center of America. There I heard the first realistic perspective on this whole thing since my primary Dr. told me back when I was first diagnosed, "Now you'll be fighting for your life." The Dr. at CTCA more recently was giving me their treatment plan after being evaluated and bluntly stated that "at this stage, we don't talk about a cure, we talk about remission, about managing it and controlling it. I can't guarantee you'll die at 80 from being hit by a truck." Until then, I had been visualizing the treatment as a flow-chart, like milestones to meet and move on to the next or go a different direction, but with a definitive end objective: be cancer free. I know there's no cure, but being over and done with it, totally free so I could go on with my life, that was my successful mission ending. I realize now that this is my life, it will be with me in some form for the rest of my life. There's no 'conquer and move on'. The hard truth is that it will shorten my life, sooner or later, and that pisses me off. Worse things could happen however, more sudden things that wouldn't give me the chance to do or say the things that have needed doing, or saying. On the flip side, now there's a black cloud following me around, whether present or not, it's in my head, always looming as a dark reminder. It follows me as I navigate my new life as if i'm driving that cartoon car through a giant house of cards wondering when it's all going to crash down on me, if one wrong turn will bump the wrong card and bring the whole thing down.

This isn't a defeatist attitude brewing, it's merely another challenge: master the maze, learn the tricks of getting through it stealthily and confident that I won't disturb the delicate balance that exists around me. Making informed decisions about treatments, seeking the most productive methods for addressing each facet of the problem, not just medically, but nutritionally, mentally, emotionally & spiritually. That's our tactic, and like the Rodney Atkins country song goes: "If you're going through Hell, keep on going. You might get out before the devil even knows you're there." That's my new motto... that, and "Everybody Wang Chung tonight." 


1 comment:

  1. dark cloud it may be Pete, but I'm there holding a brightly colored umbrella over your head. I love you big brother