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Seeing the light: staying in the present

Posted Nov 29 2012 1:56pm
November 29, 2012 - Posted by tamilb

Thanks to my friend Kim Gerhold for sharing this on Facebook

A friend just shared something on Facebook that struck a chord with me: “The light is not at the end of the tunnel; it’s wherever you are.” Indeed, that seems where I am these days. After being deep in a medical muck of scans, doctor appointments and insurance battles, I find myself in a relative state of peace and gratitude.

I entered into the holiday season in a bit of a dark place, I admit. Even though I received relatively good news that I could stay on my current treatment, I found reiterating my “long, complicated” medical history traumatized me. I began wondering how many options I truly had left and if I’d be around next holiday season. A good online friend died, adding to the list of wonderful people in my life who had passed. I noticed a longing for nurturing that didn’t seem to be met.

But then I was reminded of my many blessings. My family is small and spread out around the country, and my mom is ill and needy. But God has blessed me with wonderful in-laws, who live fairly close-by and have truly made me feel nurtured and loved. We enjoyed a wonderful, warm Thanksgiving holiday with Mike’s family. I was able to let go of my hyper-rigidity surrounding food and enjoy turkey and dressing and even a yummy pumpkin/pecan pie a friend made for me with organic ingredients and honey. I realize when I stress about food (or lack of the right food), it takes away from the wonderful family togetherness of the season.

I’ve turned my focus back on my book. I’m not sure if I’ve officially announced it here or not, but I am working on a second edition of From Incurable to Incredible, which will include updates, new stories and tips from survivors who share their stories. I secured a literary agent, who will be instrumental in selling the book to a publisher. This week, I’m finishing up my book proposal and doing my best to stay on schedule.  It has taken me time to get to this point, as I’ve been fighting insecurity and fear. When I think back, I felt similarly when I decided to write the book years ago. I am feeling excited and energized by the prospect now, relieved to be able to focus on something other than cancer that has taken up residence in my body.

People always ask me how to deal with the shadow of metastatic cancer the treatments, anxiety of scans and uncertainty of the future. For me the answer is staying in the present and appreciating the light in our lives. The light is always surrounding us if we just take time to notice it. I see it in my daughter’s exuberant smile, in the sun shining on a winter’s day … even the simple pleasure of having my teeth feel clean after a dentist appointment. It’s not something we have to wait for – like at the end of the tunnel – it’s right where we are. May the light surround you throughout the holiday season and thereafter.

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