Friday, October 29, 2010

October 29, 2010 – On Meeting Oneself

Yesterday, my 54th birthday, I caught a National Public Radio interview on the car radio with singer/ songwriter Sheryl Crow. Amidst the usual light chat about music, songwriting and the like, the interviewer asked Sheryl about her experience as a breast cancer survivor. She had this to say:

“Once I was diagnosed, once I was handed that diagnosis, it was very apparent to me that my life was never going to look or feel the same to me again. And... my lesson... in my diagnosis and laying on the radiation table every single morning for seven weeks was, nobody can take care of me but me. And I wasn't doing that. I was putting everybody's needs before me and, so it was really, you know, I met myself on that radiation table every day and I had to reflect and had to remember who it was I came in as, and had to really sort of redefine my life.”

The line that jumped out at me at the time was: “I met myself on that radiation table every day.”

That sort of thing is part of the cancer experience, especially during treatment. The diagnosis crashes in, like a bolt out of the blue. The normal, everyday activities of life come to a screeching halt. Suddenly, it’s just you, your medical team and your treatment.

Mostly you, though. And a whole lot of time.

You have time to think. To reflect. To reconsider. You may not feel real great, and that may keep you from doing some of the activities most of us usually fall back on, to keep busy and avoid introspection – reading, media, computer. The thoughts flow wild and free. No scenario’s left unturned, when it comes to imagining the worst possible outcomes.

Somehow, out of that chaotic mix there arises a new synthesis. The new normal. We haven’t chosen it, but there it is. At the end of the day, it’s our normal, so we’ll take it. It beats the alternative.

I hear you, Sheryl. What you say is so true.


Bernie said...

I like this post Paul. I like that setence as well. Thank you for sharing this.....:-) Hugs

Jeanie said...

This kind of brings it all back into perspective......

Toyin O. said...

Praying for you.

Winstrol said...

Great blog, I enjoyed reading it. Keep up the good work! Greetings and thanks for sharing.