Wrestling with Uncertainty
It was August, 2018 right after the BC summer games had ended, that I had a cold sore for 6 weeks. Hearing a lecture by Anthony Williams (The Medical Medium) on viruses and chronic illness, I decided to alter my eating habits and add in a few supplements, zinc being one of them. Two years later, I was feeling the best I had in my entire life. I rarely was getting cold sores anymore. Then my life got turned upside down and inside out. In early February, after a routine (no signs or symptoms) colonoscopy, I heard the words, "it is stage IV." What the #**#? How? "I have no signs or symptoms" I responded. I was told that is why these routine colonoscopies are performed. Well, this one wasn't soon enough.I was only fifty-two.
My relationship with uncertainty was adversarial at best. My planner did everything in its power to run a tight and organized ship, to not allow uncertainty to slip in through the cracks. This created the illusion of being safe from the storms of life.
"One of the fastest ways to make God laugh, is to tell God your plans." This is one of my favorite sayings. What is life but uncertain? Life is just a four letter word with an "if" in the middle. Often it is a big "IF". I had plans on what and how I was going to do for work for the next 20 years of my life. Now I feel as though I am sitting in a row boat in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by the thick fog. I have no compass. The only thing I am certain of right now is that I am not alone on this journey. I have received so much love and support from family, friends, hockey teammates, and clients.
Michele Marie, who is guiding me with my Soul Contract Journey, utilizing the tool of astrology, gave me the boat and fog analogy. Facing a potential terminal disease, had me wrestling with many of life's uncertainties. What was the best course of treatment? What would happen if I did die? What about work? What changes did I need to make to my life in order to survive? What I had done to contribute to the cancer in my body?
It was Jim Curtan who I heard in a lecture state, "Cancer is a call for change of die." In many ways I felt as if I had been preparing for this moment in time. I had read books on near death experiences, including Anita Moorjani's Dying to Be Me, and her journey with cancer and a near death experience. Kelly Turner's work on Radical Remissions came into my life at the same time as Anthony Williams. To date I have two health professionals' comment that my change in eating two years prior to my diagnosis, may be in part why I am still alive today. Yet, I was still having to deal with a stage IV colon cancer and all the uncertainty that it created.
Financial security is a strong motivational factor in my life. I was proud of being able to earn a comfortable living. Cancer threatened the safety and security of being able to earn a living. Other than the two months forced off work because of the Covid pandemic, I continued to work. Interestingly, my blood work stabilized during those two months off work, but things deteriorated when I went back to work. I wasn't ready to admit defeat and stop working. It must be that we had to stop one of the IV medications because of a side effect. I worked up until the day before I drove myself to the emergency room, emaciated from a colon blockage of about a week. Surgery was not given to me as a treatment option at the time of diagnosis. Forced now to do surgery, the "small" colon tumor was removed.
It has been almost three months since the colostomy surgery, and I still have not returned to work as a physiotherapist. It is the hardest thing that I have ever had to do in my life. It leaves me wrestling with the greatest uncertainty I have ever faced. Part of me that is addicted to work, addicted to the recognition I get with work, addicted to the feelings I get when I help other people, is screaming at me to go back to work. This addict in me is telling me to get back to earning my own way in life and to stop living off the support of family and friends. Another part of me is whispering softly in my ear, telling me to be patient, to trust, and to have faith. I am told that at some point the fog will lift and I will see which way it is that I am supposed to paddle. I am told that I might not recognize where I am, but I will know without a doubt of where I am to travel.
During the global pandemic, I have no doubt that so many of you have been wrestling with uncertainty. What is your relationship with uncertainty? Are you able to surrender into trust and faith? It isn't easy. For me it requires a daily spiritual practice of self-reflection and looking at my own shadow.