Cancer is waiting.  Unlike the flu or pnmenonia which can strike you down in two days, cancer meanders through your life, touching what it will, moving at its own pace.  I was expecting this urgent dash to the goal line with absolute victory.  Instead, I hike the trail to the unseen finish stopping at aid stations as they appear.

I thought cancer would be an epiphany.  It would make me understand life, force me to live every minute. It has changed me, and made me more thoughtful than before, but the change is subtle. 

 In Joe Hyams book “Zen in the Martial Arts”  he talks about the masters at the temple proclaiming that one of the students had attained enlightment.  When all the other students approached the newly enlightened one and asked how it felt, he replied “Just as miserable as ever”.  I too am different but unchanged.

What do I appreciate more?  I appreciate taste, glorious wonderful taste,   rich chocolate, zesty orange slices, cooked carrots and anything that doesn’t taste of metal.  I value touch, that wonderful sense of connection fostered by a hug, or the touch on an arm and friendship, given unselfshly to support family and me.  And I am reminded by  one of my favorite poets in words I wish I might someday approach:

No man is an island

No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as a manor of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

John Donne

19 Comments on “islands”

  1. someday is now! you appreciate food differently…

    • billgncs says:

      yes, I agree. Today is all we have. Tomorrow a promise, yesterday a dream gone by.

        • billgncs says:

          Of course I do plan ahead, have to take care of my dependents, but savor the moment is always good advice.

          • i think there is so much to miss in a moment if we don’t stop to “smell the roses” once in a while.

            • billgncs says:

              yes, when I drove – I missed so much, and when I bicycle I see so much more, and walking ever more.

              • okay lets not get too hasty…biking and i are not
                i love to hike though, and i spent two years living in BC and hiking in the mountains three times a week…that was heaven on earth!

                • billgncs says:

                  I have heard that is very very lovely.

                  • oh ya!! i miss it so much! it was a dream come true and if the area we were living in weren’t dying, we’d still be there.

                    • billgncs says:

                      what was the industry ?

                    • it was the whole town of Penticton. It’s mainly a senior town and they didn’t want to allow new business into the town. as a result it’s dying. they aren’t thinking of the future generations.
                      it’s a tourist town, but as it dies, less tourists are coming in. it was also the home of the Iron Man but they made the announcement after this past summer it will no longer be. i hate to think what’s going to happen to the struggling businesses without that.
                      people are having to take two and three part time jobs to make it there, and the cost of living is very high. the biggest employer is Walmart.
                      We moved there for a few reasons but one Hubby got a job. Shortly after, he was laid off and never found another. He was out of work for over a year and then found a job close to where we live in Northern Alberta. Here in Alberta, it’s booming with work. The mine and gas and oil industry.
                      Hubby is a rookie Helicopter Pilot desperately looking to follow his dream of flying, It is almost near impossible to get in as a rookie. One of those vicious circles. You need flight time to get a job, and you need a job to get flight time. That’s another reason we headed to BC and now to Alberta. Alas for now Hubby works in the mine.
                      I know he will see his dream come true though!
                      Wow that was long sorry.

                    • billgncs says:

                      but a good one, thanks for sharing it. It must take alot of confidence to fly a helicopter!

                      do you have a dream to follow ?

  2. Louise G. says:

    I was drawn here from Diana’s and I am grateful for the pull into your space and place and your beautiful heart.

    Thank you for sharing — and inspiring — by being vulnerable on your journey.

  3. Thanks for drawing me to this post and as much as it is possible to do so online – HUGS

  4. billgncs says:

    I agree, i have wrestled on my own for any thing good related to this cursed disease.

    Thanks for reading.

  5. Different but unchanged–I like that. Those of us who’ve faced this beast truly understand how one can be different but unchanged. Nothing bugs me more than to hear talk of all the good things cancer brings. I’m all for being positive, but I’ve yet to have an epiphany brought on by cancer.

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