<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1514203202045471&ev=PageView&noscript=1"/> Waiting to Find Out | Core Spirit

Waiting to Find Out

Jun 10, 2024
Gary Merel
Core Spirit member since Mar 21, 2023
Reading time 3 min.

It's been almost one year since I underwent a colectomy to remove a cancerous tumor. The surgeon removed 14 inches of my colon and pronounced me "cured." The initial diagnosis was stage one cancer. That diagnosis saved me from further treatment. No chemo. No radiation. I remind myself daily just how fortunate I am. Since the surgery, I have found myself in the best shape I have ever been in. I keep my weight under 175. Having always been a good eater, I felt compelled to fine-tuned my diet. I am very strategic about the supplements I take. Last winter in Tucson, I rode over 2400 miles and was able to do rides with some significant hill climbing.

The first anniversary of my surgery came with some anticipated events. I recently had a colonoscopy, and my surgeon declared that everything looked healthy and normal. Being cautious and genuinely caring for my health, she also suggested a CT scan. It kind of felt like, "Buy one, get one free."
It took three days for the CT scan to be reviewed and the results reported. At seventy years old, I am one healthy man except for two noticeable findings. The first showed degeneration in several vertebrae in my lower back. The second indicated some "nonspecific findings" in two lymph nodes in the mesenteric region of my digestive system. That means that it could be anything from insignificant to yes, the "C" word. That sparked my worry mechanism. I have to assume that most or even maybe all cancer survivors live with some degree of uncertainty about the cancer returning. I know I do.
I have no pain or discomfort in my lower back. I asked my PCP for her opinion. She answered that most people my age have disk degeneration, adding, "Welcome to the aging process." As to the second finding, my surgeon responded, "We need to find out what's going on," and scheduled a PET scan. So, I'm left waiting and feeling uncertain. I don't do well with either.

One of the first things I do after waking up in the morning is to meditate and pray. Not long. Usually 20 minutes. In some form or another, it is a practice I have cultivated for over 50 years.

My mind settles down. My breath finds its rhythm. My body releases any tension, and I am left profoundly rooted in the present moment. It is a space of clarity. I become open and available to a deep sense of being. There is no story playing out in my head, no agenda I have to attend to. There is only being and the current of the mystery that lives all things flowing through my body.

In that space of being, I can find acceptance for the unfolding of my life. An unfolding that I often have little control over. Being human is often messy and unpredictable. Aging, illness, and the uncertain nature of life can easily cause anyone to fall into hopelessness. Asking God to save me from my predicament only creates the prospect of disappointment. I find there is no rescue from my dilemma. By asking God to intervene, I am setting myself up for inevitable disappointment. Only wisdom, insight, acceptance, and grace are available in the present moment.

The face that greets me every morning as I look into the bathroom mirror has the same look of recognition it did for my entire life. There is always a brief look of amazement as I look back with deep appreciation for the gift I was given and where it has brought me. I am not ready to leave this world. I have much to accomplish. I have people I love and who love me. I find joy and celebration in each moment as I lean into my life.

I can only surrender to the unfolding of my life as it continues to reveal the truth of my being.

Amidst the chaos and uncertainty of life, I remain open to Grace and the gift of my life.

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