When you live with any chronic condition, illness or disease you share your living space with something extraordinary — uncertainty. Now, I hear you saying, extraordinary? How can that be? Isn’t uncertainty like walking a tight rope all the time? Perhaps.
The dictionary defines uncertainty as: The state of being uncertain; doubt; hesitancy, unpredictability; indeterminacy; indefiniteness.
How can that be extraordinary? Doesn’t this create unimaginable stress every single day? And carting that around day-to-day would be impossible! How can you live every day like that?
It is called co-habitation. Of course, there are a lot more fun and “extraordinary” forms of cohabitation……but, let’s stay on point.
Not knowing what your body is going to do or how any illness may overtake you at any time is indeed, undaunting. It quickly becomes a way of life. It’s rather like breathing in-and-out. Or having eyes the color of the ocean. It simply is what it is.
Having lived with three cancers over the period of the past 26 years, I have become an expert aficionado at the art of watching and waiting, as unspoken discoveries pop up here and there.
When something unfamiliar is found within your body, you never get used to that roller coaster feeling in the pit of your stomach. It is never easy hearing the words……“this could be something, you probably should call your oncologist and have this checked out, Lesli.”
This is the where it becomes extraordinary. I have experienced this many times over the years. It’s at this moment, is when the coexisting of uncertainty kicks in and takes over. It is a familiar and almost serene place you arrive at. This is a coping mechanism highly developed over the years.
However, no matter how calm your exterior remains — there is always that “little mini-me” inside throwing a hissy-fit, worried, or even temporarily paralyzed with fear.
But, your very own place of serenity takes over and a feeling of calmness overshadows all other feelings. This ability to stay in the moment and yet transport yourself to a state of mind of stillness and peace takes time, practice to develop, and learning how to conquer the fear.
Waiting for the appointment to find out “everything is all right” can seem like an eternity of really bad movies playing in your head!
It is the most difficult of times. But, the extraordinary partner you share your life with — uncertainty — is as comfortable as a well worn pair of slippers. You wouldn’t change them for anything. You know every nuance of your body and are in tune with it as if it were a Stradivarius!
You are familiar with your own well-being, there are few mysteries, you know every inch, every integral part, and in this subtlety you find wisdom and strength that everything will be alright.
Now, that’s extraordinary.
The Strength Within