Ed’s music and writing
Ed’s update-July 2014
Where to start? Should I go back to the day I received that shocking, life changing diagnosis about my untreatable liver cancer and the instructions to go home, try to stay as comfortable as I could until I died, which would be soon? Or, maybe to the gradual decline toward death and the indifference that grew as death came closer, that stripped away even the most common of desires. The only two that didn’t disappear were the soft comfort I received from my sweetheart gently rubbing oil into my feet and the sweetness of my dear loved ones visiting me and trying not to say that final good-by. Or, I could start at the rise back toward good health and mostly normal activity.
It’s been over 2 years now and the shrunken tumor hasn’t changed in a year and a half with the tumor markers staying in normal range. Even though life has returned to some of its old grooves, ruts, humps and bumps, it’s different now. Attachment hasn’t come back so arrogant and strong; I am going slower without the conflicting drive to hurry up and get more done; I have so much more appreciation for the simplest of dynamics and details to the glimpses of a bigger reality than my personal stories had made room for. There is more sweetness and softness than I can remember ever being there. Every day I feel grateful for having more life and the grace of having so many possibilities to serve something much greater than myself.
I am sure I would have died if my sweetheart hadn’t tried so hard with the “right choices” to keep me alive. This cancer journey has been a lot harder on her than it has on me. I just took the pills and ate & drank the food. She had to do all the work, do the research, and then make all the preparations (at least for the first 5 or 6 months). She had to manage my illness because I was very weak and too stoned to manage it myself. This raises the important questions: “What are the right choices and what is that going to look like for me”? I have a metaphor of the “healing chair” that has been useful in making decisions that help keep me moving toward better health: The healing chair has four legs, one leg is the support team (caregiver, Nature path Md., regular Md., Hospice, etc.) ; one leg is the correct choice of medicine (what protocols you choose); one leg is right diet ( that’s knowing what’s good and bad and staying away from the bad): and the fourth leg is de-toxing (learning the importance of and the methods to de-tox) . The legs hold me up and the back & seat is what I rest on while I heal. It’s not a very useful healing chair if any of those parts are missing.
I also feel compelled to give a lot of credit and thanks to my meditation teacher, for teaching me how to de-tox mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. It helped me immeasurably to go through this experience with little negativity toxifing my body. He taught me how to ask some of the right questions that turned me toward a clearer and more meaningful direction with real possibilities. For instance, I’ve learned to ask myself “Who do I want to Be today?”
I’ve become an adventurer again. My 8yr old grandson is often my adventure guide. Lately, he’s trying to teach me child philosophy and manipulation compliance etiquette and I’m trying to teach him the reasons for and the benefits of self-restraint, which is a hard sell to a kid who is absolutely convinced that more is better and now is best. And how do you effectively argue for that old adage “eat your potatoes & veggies first” when you’ve clearly recognized as self-evident the fact that it’s plain illogical and makes no sense to not eat your desert first and take a chance on getting full on something else. We mostly have fun and that’s become the dominant color of my life and ideal I am pursuing along this path.