Monday, June 14, 2010

#185: Dwelling in the Moment

We had one of those conversations yesterday. The one where you call up an old friend and tell her you've got cancer. I always feel compelled to try and explain why I'm calling. "Just filling up the prayer chain." has become my standard answer. At one point she asked Mrs P how long I had been in treatment. We were stumped. She had to check the calender.

"My God. Only one week."

The treatments and I have so completely integrated into one another that it seems as if this is the way it has always been. I have finally achieved that contemplative ideal of dwelling in the moment. Here and now are all I have to go on and the time seems almost mystically filled. We laugh and pray. We weep and walk. I am amazed at how simple it is to live like this. Not the circumstances I would have chosen for an enlightenment experience, but we must take our blessings where we find them.

One of the consequences of all this "sitting around being" is that my nutrition has gotten pretty far out of whack. When they weighed me today, we found that I had lost 14 lbs since last Monday. That's a good month's hard work, but not a very promising start to seven weeks of physical punishment. I start guzzling Ensure shakes today. The young doctor suggested I start using my feeding tube. "You've got it. You might as well use it," but that rationale seemed a little slim to me. As long as I can still at least drink like a person, I'd prefer to do it that way. I can always sip down yogurt.

I've always been kind of a boring homebody, given my 'druthers. I'm grateful for that now. Someone who loved to be out running around might go nuts living like this. Now my days are consumed with writing, napping, and dreams. I dreamed last night that I forgave a friend. Someone who hurt me very deeply without meaning to. It's a conversation I would love to have in life, but the harm done was so unavoidable and so unintentional that it almost seems cruel to bring it up to him. Maybe I'll wait till I have progressed a little farther in my illness, then summon him here for a dramatic sickbed reconciliation scene. A fellow needs do live with a little bit of flair, even when living in the moment, don't you think?


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