Waiting is not my strong suit. It’s been 8 days since I got my cancer diagnosis, eight Long Days and Long Nights. (Did the oil really last that long?) To use the language of the program, I have become irritable and discontent. And that’s putting it nicely.
I’m trying to do the right things; go to meetings, reach out to people, help others, blah, blah, blah. I’ll feel temporary relief but then I inevitably sink back into frustration, impatience and anger.
What I am angry about is this; I haven’t been able to get an appointment with an endocrinologist to find out what my treatment plan will be. Because my PCP unexpectedly left her practice last week, things are really screwed up.
I have a few different thoughts running through my head. This is bullshit, our medical system is broken, how can they ignore me when I was just diagnosed with a life-threatening illness? Why are the docs so busy and overloaded? And holy shit, why am I not getting my way? Aren’t I important enough?
Then my sane voice tells me to take it easy, I’ve had this cancer for a while, most likely years, waiting a bit for an appointment is not going to kill me. A friend who has survived two cancers, melanoma and lung cancer suggests I turn it over. That’s what everyone is suggesting but I keep thinking that if I’m not proactive then nothing will happen. And quite frankly, I’m used to getting my way. And when I think I’m not being heard, I get pissed off.
Another thing that same friend suggested is that I not back myself into a corner. I ‘m not doing myself a favor trying to force solutions.
Times like these are when I need the steps. Step Three,
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
And the Third Step Prayer,
God, I offer myself to Thee
To build with me & to do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy love & Thy way of life.
May I do Thy will always!
The wording of the Third Step Prayer does not flow easily for me so my first sponsor suggested I say what she says, “Thy will not mine”. My cancer-survivor recovery friend says, “God I give you my Bod”. I don’t think the wording matters all that much. I just need to have the willingness to turn it over to a power greater than myself. A power that I trust.
And I need to give up the illusion of control.
And for me trust is the clincher. I need to trust in my power and that means I need to have a relationship with my higher power. There needs to be an ongoing conversation, not just a plea for help in times of trouble. It’s a lot easier to turn it over when you have that relationship of trust and faith in your higher power.
I recently read this Zen story about Letting Go.
Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling.
Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.
“Come on, girl,” said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.
Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. “We monks don’t go near females,” he told Tanzan, “especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?”
“I left the girl there,” said Tanzan. “Are you still carrying her?”
Letting go of Fear will help me recover. I intuitively know that and I’ve seen it work in others. I’ve seen many others walk this path with courage, strength, and faith. Today I am praying to let go of my old ways.