As I heal, after working so diligently every day for over 13 months, I am very protective of the progress I have made. I cherish it, and no matter how slow the progress is -- and sometimes it seems that weeks go by before I notice even a tiny improvement in my condition. I am still taking just as much pain medication as I did 1 year ago, and I still cannot stand for more than a few hours before I need to lie down to rest my spine. I still do physical therapy exercises I was given a year ago (and I was told emphatically NOT to stop doing them). So every day when I wake up, I slowly and gently wake up my muscles...
I have had to take the meaning of patience to a new level. I have always been a patient person, but the patience always had a limit. In the past, after being patient for a significant period of time, I would always get to a place where I would feel, "OK, now I have been patient enough. Now it is time for something to happen." Not so any more. I am patient as my body does what it needs to do to heal, and then I have to continue to be patient. And again. And again. And then even more patience.
There is no one who can tell me when my healing will have progressed to the point that I will no longer need pain medication. I will have to find that out for myself. And there is no one who can tell me when I will be able to have a day go by where I do not have to repeatedly lie down. That, too, I will have to find out for myself. And yet I have no doubt that I will reach that level of health, that my body will continue to grow stronger and more flexible month by month, more physically able to walk and hike and ski, and yes, even ride a bicycle!
The fact that I do not doubt for a moment the degree of my healing is part of Who I Am. I have great faith and trust in the Universe. I live a life of abundance, and I have never doubted that. I live a life of joy, and I do not question that. It is part of Who I Am. I can take a challenging situation and find the bright side of it -- for example, of being diagnosed with cancer. It is Who I Am, always looking for the positive lesson in what the Universe and Great Mystery present before me.
And yet, being human (or at least being over 50) means that I am also forgetful. At times, my mind will wander into future and wonder 'what if this happens?' or 'what if that happens?', and then I find myself in fear. An illusion about something that I have no control over, and which is not real. Then I have to remind myself to bring my attention back to the present moment, remind myself that everything is fine right now. Yes, my healing may be slow, but I AM healing. And I remind myself that I do have faith in the Universe, that I do trust the Great Mystery to be perfect in what and how things are orchestrated. This trust and faith in the Universe is for me the truth of what is. And I can say to my fear, "Thank you for reminding me of my human journey."
One doesn't have to have a diagnosis, a label, in order to go to the fear of 'what if?'. Anyone can be paralyzed by fear -- what if I get hit by a truck today? or what if I get hit by a meteorite? These, too, are thoughts that can create fear, but this fear is not (usually) related to the Truth of the moment. It takes attention to one's thoughts -- recognizing which thoughts need to be heeded and which are an illusion -- and diligence in the present moment to bring one's self back to Truth. And in that truth, faith and trust bring a sense of peace and ease, bring an acceptance of what is.
Of course, the irony is that with a diagnosis of cancer, the diagnosis itself creates the tendency to go to fear, worry, anxiety, and 'what if' regarding the future. And yet, the Truth is that none of us knows the future. We just know the present. Is yours a present which is a present (a gift) to yourself?