2005-04-22 / Columnists

The Inner Voice by Marilyn Gelfand

As I write now, the sun is streaming in the window, and it looks like a beautiful day. This is my current moment. It is the most important real thing for me. As I put plans into motion and as life throws all of its curve balls, I must remain in the present moment. Sometimes we wish we could see the end and then go backwards. However the lesson would not be learned. The lesson is to put one step in motion and then see what happens. Life is lived in increments that have to be dealt with one at a time.

For example, a family member is dealing with ovarian cancer. She had the surgery two years ago, and had chemotherapy, and now had a large part of a new growth removed. The doctor went with leaving a piece of the growth in the body instead of giving her a colostomy. Until the surgery took place, it would have been premature to discuss subsequent treatments. Now that the increment of surgery is over, and we know what the result is, the next increment can be looked at.  She decided to wait until her body healed more before beginning chemotherapy every week.

What will happen during chemotherapy will have to remain in the unknown.

The doctors said that they will do their next increment by testing the

chemo on the removed growth. Then they can determine the next step. She will set up the appointment for the placing of the port and the first new chemotherapy. Based on how she feels, she will know if it ispossible to continue through six more weeks. Then based on those results the next steps will unfold.

In trusting our instincts, it can be frustrating sometimes not seeing a

clear end result to follow. Then we have to be like planes flying in the fog.  We hear the signal and go in a particular direction, and then wait for the next signal. In life, there are no guarantees. We are constantly living in the unknown even if we forget that it is so. In the case of the ovarian cancer family member, her doctor said his goal

was to postpone the terminal event.  In truth, we are all living with postponements of “the terminal event.”  Even calling death “the terminal event” is an increment for those of us who have difficulty facing the reality of death.  Living in small steps allows us to be happy in the unknown as long as we realize that there is something out

there that is helping pave the way. 

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