Tuesday, January 28, 2014

On Lightning Strikes

"Why don't you wear a seatbelt?" my brother-in-law asked the maniac Ecuadorean taxi driver. "If God wants me, He will take me," was the reply. (I see his point, although God could make the case that the seatbelt is part of His will.)

When I had cancer the first time, I wondered what to point to in my past that might have made me vulnerable to such a disease.  How could I, a person who is so careful about what I eat and how I live, get this type of illness? There must be something I had missed. I guess a traditional foods diet wasn't quite the answer for me. Maybe I needed to follow a paleo diet. That seemed to be the answer; I felt really good, slept well, never got sick. Every time something seemed off, I figured there was something I had done wrong. Feeling well and recovered, I read more about non-invasive therapies for leukemia, and I actively incorporated lots of things into my diet to ensure that I would never get leukemia again.

And then I did. How could I get cancer again? What about the neutral pH, and the daily liver cleansing tonics, and the grain-free, sugar-free, grass-fed, gospel-preaching holy sanctimony God-damned diet and lifestyle? WHAT THE FUCK? Should I go back to whiskey and cigarettes? I didn't have cancer then.
Look at these frickin' cows! Those are happy cows! (They're actually my friend Laura's cows, at Two Coves Farm. Go there and buy stuff).

Or could it be that I'm not in control?

On my drive back from North Carolina, I stopped at a rest area. There were signs with photos of a missing woman on them; she looked about 18. Life's not fair. We make choices, we influence the outcome, but we AREN'T IN CONTROL.

I've been mistaken about what health and wellness are. They are not diet, or supplements, or a specific number of hours of fresh air and exercise. These things matter, but there is a center that will hold or not, and it is in cultivating that center that I can find my recovery. It is in trust, and in forgiveness, and submission to a process that is beyond my control.

But I'll still wear a seatbelt.