The doctor had just taken another biopsy of a suspicious spot off my nose. I mentioned I also felt a bump on the top of my head. He looked at it and said “that one’s got to come off, too, right now.”
Last year I underwent five surgeries for an aggressive cancer on the left side of my nose and the top of my head. (The year before I had two grueling surgeries on the right side of my nose). It was exhausting going thru the skin grafts, plus reconstruction using cartilage from my ears, and now here it was happening all again.
As I sat, pondering the latest “bumps,” I realized that my thoughts and memories cause me much suffering. It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t believe those runaway, rampant thoughts. Some painful thoughts are: 1) not again!, 2) this shouldn’t be happening!, 3) how will I pay for this?, and 4) is this how my life’s going to end?
All of those thoughts put me on a fast track to misery and suffering.
The more I thought “oh my gosh, what if I have to go through another ordeal like last year?” Then the more fear, panic, and resistance arose. Then later came the anger, the anger at something over which I was powerless — it hung around the longest.
Again I realized that anytime I do not accept life as it comes, on its terms, I suffer. I believe that what works for me is to “go with the flow” and not to fight reality. I’m trying to adopt a “Que será, será” outlook. Yes, what will be, will be. If I had any control over my life, I sure wouldn’t choose to be facing this latest challenge!
By the end of the morning, I was in gratitude to the cancerous spots. They had served by reminding me to love life and live it to the fullest. After all, what will be, will be.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…”
The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr
Copyright ©2014 Lynn Davis Van Gundy • All rights reserved