Monday, July 12, 2010

WOMEN FOOD AND LOVE - and cancer

My sister sent me this as a birthday card - humorous because I used to make jokes about winding up a bag lady. I stopped joking about it when I recognized that living on the very edge of financial survival wasnt going to end any time soon, and I didnt want it to become a self-fulfilling prophecy!

Just finished watching Oprah. Her guest was Geneen Roth who wrote Women Food and God. I recently read the book and she is definitely onto something, in stating when we eat when we are not hungry we are eating to numb ourselves from having to face the underlying issue we are trying to avoid.

At the end of the show, an obviously frustrated woman who wasnt climbing the corporate ladder as fast as she wanted to, asked "What do you do when you know help isnt coming soon?" A question of relevance to me, for sure.

Oprah provided a profound truth, and had some of her audience in tears, when she responded, as well as I can remember:

"Your relationship to the Source, to what you may call God, or may not call God, or that you may not even know is God, is what it is about. When you can surrender, and stand in that place honoring where you are, and where you have come from, and how far you have come, and stand in that honor, with gratitude for all your blessings, THE VIBRATION OF YOUR LIFE WILL CHANGE."

A profound truth that obviously resonated with everyone. Gratitude for blessings....surrender....acceptance.........not that we wont still strive, but just to not fight with the present, to flow with it. To be all right with ourselves, now, in this moment, in trust.

My son Jeff called today. I sat in my porch swing, watching the hummingbirds come to the feeder, listening to him sort through his processing. He is wondering when it is okay to be "done" with dredging up the past, if he should "just move on."

I said, "I remember reaching a point around your age where I was just tired of suffering. It doesnt mean the past didnt happen, that it isnt still there, in memory. It just means I was done with suffering about it. I wanted to move on and live."

"You just got over it?"

"It is a process, that seems to happen around forty" (where my son is today), "where you finally accept what happened, know it is behind you, become more comfortable inside your own skin and just let a lot of the old Stuff go."

Hopefully it helped. Friday I go over to the city to be with him as he goes through another round of chemo. He has his Cat scan tomorrow, to see how the lymph nodes are responding. Hopefully well. Two more chemos in August and then he is done. For now. They say treatment will give him a couple of years, and then the cancer will return and he will go thru chemo again. But he has what they say is a "highly treatable" cancer, "non-life-threatening". All good news.

I am always so impressed, when I visit the oncology ward, where my son sits in a row of tilted chairs, the IV hooked up to him, how positive and cheerful the atmosphere is. One might expect it to be a depressing place, everyone sad and grim. But, for the most part, the people we meet and chat with during his treatments are positive, cheerful Can-Do people, just doing what comes next, the next thing they have to do to be well and live their lives. I would call it courage but it feels more effortless than that - it feels life-affirming, it is "what do I do next to keep on truckin' this part of the highway?"

It is a privilege to be with them all. And one of those heroes is my son. We never expected, on the difficult journey we have made together, that we would be walking this particular bit of the highway. However, since we are here, we're taking it all in stride and staying in the Now. No room for negativity, no time to indulge in histrionics. No time for fear. What my son needs right now is a steady companion to sit at his side and be fully there for him.

As I drive down-Island, walk on the ferry, take busses and seabusses and skytrains to the hospital to be with him, I know it is my privilege and honor to be his mother.


  1. I am amazed and humbled reading your words! I have endured things I wish I hadn't, seen things I didn't want to see, yet these are shoes I wish no one had to wear! You son is a hero; I am amazed at the courage and kindness in the face of the race of life.
    The mind is truly gifted at seeing the best, when the spot light is on us! I'm in my late 40's trying to let things go, as you described to your son...tired of some struggling~
    He is lucky to have such a wonderful Mother in YOU~ Someone to deflect and reflect key points and provide him with compassion and comfort, when needed. xXx

  2. Such a lovely post, Sherry! I am still struggling to let go, even at this late stage of my life.. still learning to be content with myself in each moment.

    You have always been my wise friend, full of compassion and insight, reflecting back the kind of person I might one day grow into...I am so thankful for that.

    I must agree with Ellie...Jeff is a hero and he is blessed indeed to have you as his mother. Hopefully, knowing that many people care can be of some comfort to you both...


  3. Wow, thanks so much, gals! I tossed off those thoughts without overly thinking about them.....gotta catch them before they drop into the Abyss that is what's left of my mind, hee hee........I appreciate the kind words. Ellie, you are right on schedule, gets better with every year that passes - that's why senile people are so happy:). And, Lynette, YOU have always been MY role model for the kind of gracious woman I would have liked to be, had I not been this frizzy-haired improperly behaved creature I wound up as. I think that poem When I am old I shall wear purple influenced me too much.

  4. Wonderful message, mom :) I love what you wrote and I appreciated the bit you included that Oprah said WOW! This world is full of amazing people, and quite a few are right under our noses! xx


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