November 22, 2011 (this day)

Perspective.

Last week, when I was taking a shower, it occurred to me that I am getting old lady arms.  I looked at the under part of my right upper arm and noticed it was flabbier than it had been.  I’m OK with that.  Truly.  Most of the time I am very glad to get older.  Of course I don’t like the bodily deteriorating I’m doing, and I really don’t like being closer to the end.  Other than that, it’s a blessing and one I try hard to appreciate all the time.  It’s always here.  Each day, I’m older.

Well this past Saturday in the shower I noticed my arm again (and I didn’t look at it in between, not because I only shower on Saturday, but because I try not to look at myself).  This time I took a peek at my other arm and sadly, I had to admit I had a lump on the right arm.  Or a mass.  Something bad.

So that was Saturday night.  I spent from then until Monday afternoon, when I went to the doctor, practicing feeling what it would feel like to have something awful.  I really would, momentarily, think about hearing that not only did I have cancer, but I was full of it, and had not long to live.  I also practiced hearing that I’m fine, and I spent time thinking about what I know of cancer treatments and some brave folks I know who have gone through it and are going through it.

And most of the time between Saturday and Monday I really tried not to think about it at all, but to go on with my life.  I think I’m fairly good at that.  AA has taught me how to stay in the present, I’ve had many years of practice.  That is a very useful and practical skill.

The doctor and the student doctor said it is a harmless something or other, and that I don’t need to do anything about it unless it bothers me.  Which it will, mostly niggling a little at my the edge of my mind worrying that the doctor is wrong.  My next thought will be that it looks kind of yucky, I hope it’s not too obvious, and it’s a good thing I don’t do sleeveless regardless.

Carole wasn’t very brave about all this, but she tried.  One thing I thought about during it is that I’m very grateful she’s there.  She complains that I won’t let her take care of me when I’m sick, but I’d hate to think of having a major illness all alone.  I know people do it every day, and one day it could be me, but I’m glad that right now she’s here.

Carole gave me the funniest thought, though.  We went to a meeting on Sunday night and at some point, in the car, I don’t know what I said and she probably doesn’t either, but she said to me, “I’m trying to cherish you.”

I know I make that difficult often.

Well, my Monday morning work problems seemed awfully small yesterday at work.  I love that about being scared.  I really want to carry that forward into next Monday.

And I was thinking about it.  When I was drinking, there were truly times that I wanted to die.  I never feel that way now.  I love life and I want more.  Another gift of the program.

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One thought on “November 22, 2011 (this day)

  1. I’m so glad you shared about this. I thought I was acting very brave, even though I was totally freaked out. My perspective was interesting too, I think. We were so nice to each other throughout the weekend, really loving each other and, it seemed to me, remembering what is truly important.
    And incidentally, most days I don’t have to TRY to cherish you. Most days I just do. I love you.

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