My mother’s breast cancer operation went well, all things considered and she was home from the hospital the same evening. She sounded relatively good on the phone, although the uncertainty about the future feels as vulnerable as the part of her body where they cut her.
At least when I think of it.
But we will in the future have to find ways, as said before, to deal with that renewed uncertainty. Bad things can happen to everyone and everyone can get cancer and everyone will die.
However, when you have actually had a particular danger in your life – twice – it feels more resonant, more close, statistics be damned (and I don’t know how reliable they are anyway).
You feel that danger is … closer. It is more likely it will come back. That is what you feel.
Again – like in 2003 when my mother had her first cancer operation and then for some years, until the fear gradually subsided and we all found a place for it in our minds and hearts, while going about our everyday lives.
Now it is back and will be back with more strength from time to time, even if what happened so far was the best thing that could happen, assuming they have not overlooked anything.
See? Fear is already sneaking in …
But that is as it is. And I know and my mother knows that we will have to find ways to deal with it. Ways to live the rest of our lives as a net victory, no matter the threats that may shadow life or become real.
A net victory and a net joy and a net good. A ‘net worth it’, so to speak. That is the course and the guiding star and the anchor that must be in our lives.
It must be in everyone’s lives even before they become ill with something potentially terminal. But here it is more resonant for us – yet again.
I don’t know yet what this renewed strengthened focus should be. I can’t answer it for my mother in any case.
I just know it has to be.
There has to be a focus on living the best life and getting overall more joy than fear out of life, even if there is a renewed shadow of fear always with us.
Maybe it has always been there, we only notice this shadow from time to time. But now that we have noticed again, so to speak, we have this mission before us.
It is a better mission than to try to suppress or avoid fear, or even the object of fear. It is the best mission to try to find that part of life and of living it, no matter what we believe in afterwards (if anything), which is so strong that even the fear of death and pain cannot subdue it.
A part of life, a value in it – or several values – that, if we allow them to be our focus, will change our lives and make our lives into a net victory, or just a victory if you will.
A feeling that we have lived and enjoyed to the fullest and that we have gained that which we wanted, even if things did not go for the best.
That is a better feeling than depression; the feeling that we are stuck, trapped and overwhelmed. Victims … of life, in a manner of speaking.
We are all going to be ‘victims of life’ eventually, because life will kill us – it will end in death, one way or another.
The point is, I am convinced by now more than ever, to continually ask ourselves – what is it about our experience of life that we can continually make better and brighter, no matter circumstances and conditions which appear unchangeable? No matter, that life will end?
What is it?
We will have to find out – all over again.