Sunday, November 18, 2012


I feel like a big baby.  But it should be understandable.  I am sick of smiling and pretending to be a good sport about this.  I am also sick of pretending that I am a good person who is not experiencing some level of uncontrollable bitterness at others' seeming lack of problems.  As stated before, it is not that I am interested in anyone else being stuck in my shitty situation - I'm not - but it would require the Buddha not to have some resentment, and I am not the Buddha.  So, I write today in full admission of my unenlightened, shallow viewpoint on life right now.  Even though it does no good, I wonder why me, which is a huge, crappy conundrum that implies if not me, then someone else.  And that does not make me feel too good.

I have not found the silver lining that people with cancer sometimes discuss, where they say their lives are actually enhanced, improved, enlightened by the necessity of dealing with this crisis.  I have read and heard interviews with people who end up glad they got cancer, that it changed their lives in ways they could not have anticipated.  I have not found God, or faith in any religion.  I remain the atheist I have been, and satisfied with that.  Try as I might (I am not actually trying very hard) to investigate whether some faith in something outside of medicine and science could help me, I am coming up empty.  Please don't encourage me in this vein.  I don't mind my pragmatic lack of religion, and am simply reporting the process in my head, as always.   I have not found a way to spiritualize the teachable moments in this journey, though there are plenty of teachable moments.  But... they are just that, nothing more and nothing less.  

On my run this morning, which Ani so kindly got me through, as I felt shitty and winded the whole time, I practiced keeping going.  I guess this is as close to the spiritual as I am going to get.  I figure if I can mentally keep going in the pool or on the street in the pouring rain, that simple act trains the mind to keep going in other ways, as in day by day through cancer treatment.  So... That is all I have... the act of keeping going, which will have to be enough.

I have no idea whether sometime during this year the epiphane will arrive and I will suddenly "understand" the purpose of my journey.  I am skeptical though, and am apt to conclude that it is a piece of shitty luck, which some people have to deal with at some point, or points, during their lives.  I have become one of those people, and my job is to accept it, take the medicine, and deal.

For years I have carried around a "This American Life" story told by a radio broadcaster who had one of those heinous cancers where you're literally living in the hospital for months, getting chemoed just about to death, to give you a chance at a life after.  She said, and I have never forgotten it, that "we think we are the sick and the well," (as if if one is not sick one is safe from sickness), "but we are actually the sick, and the not yet sick."  She admitted to this being a matter of semantics but I have carried the distinction around with me for years.  Maybe as part of my doom-seeking Jewishness, maybe as some form of fearful enlightenment that I understand quite well right now.

1 comment:

  1. Honest, Laura, and understandable.

    I realized awhile ago that, as a runner, I have earned very few medals for speed and quite a few for dogged determination. I also realize that this could be an annoying comparison, because it's a hell of a lot easier to proceed with the help of endorphins and a not-yet-sick body than it probably is when undergoing the physical and mental challenges of cancer. I bring it up to say that I think there is value in dogged determination, and that it applies to other facets of life. I run partly because I know I will not always be able to, because some day I will say goodbye to running, walking, yoga, breath. For now, I appreciate our abilities to keep moving on in our own fashions, and I appreciate your honesty. I hope I'm not being annoying with my comparison.

    Take care.