I’m fascinated by death. I have so many questions.What does it really mean to be alive? What part of me is consciousness? What really happens when we die? Are we actually alive? What other forms of consciousness exist, and how do we access them? See, many questions. When this whole cancer thing started, nearly two and a half years ago, I had a compellingly strong sense that I had a choice. Not whether to live or die. That wasn’t even on the table. I assumed I’d live, but I gave the alternative (is there only one?) serious thought. No, the choice I thought I had then was HOW to move through cancer. Do I take the long and hard road, the one with juices and pills and coffee enemas and radiation? Or do I take another road? I was super tempted to take another road. That road, whatever or wherever it was, felt like home. It felt like India and sensuality and community and life and love. I really wanted that road. Even though I didn’t know what or where it was. But real-world conditions got in the way. Money, for one. And what about my beloved soulmate, the man who’d pledged to devote his life to healing me? He did not want to put all our stuff in storage and follow my whim to India, I was pretty sure. So what then? I was afraid of losing him.
Not making a choice is actually a kind of choice. I didn’t do anything about my other road. I kept drinking the juices and taking the pills and doing the enemas — because, really, what else could I do? — and very soon I could barely sit up, let alone hop on a plane to a developing country. My window had closed. My choice was made. Fast forward two-plus years. Cancer came back, and because it came back where it’d been treated before, it’s now more serious. And whereas two-plus years ago I took 8-10 kinds of pills in addition to my juices and enemas, over the two-plus years we added things and added things and finally we counted the other day and found out that I now take more than SIXTY kinds of cancer-dealing, life-enhancing, health-reviving things every single damn day. Including three forms of medical cannabis. Go, me. This is fucking work. There’s an 8.5″ x 11″ paper I use every day. It’s covered with tiny boxes, drug names, and numbers: a matrix of the things I take and do for healing every day. I’d be lost without it. I also hate the fucking thing with the fire of a thousand suns. It’s my shackles. It’s my savior. That other road calls to me again. I know in my heart there is another way. And I suspect (fear?) that the road I’m on now, this road of endless juices and pills, may just lead me ever closer to death. WITHOUT HAVING REALLY LIVED. This is my quandary. My 60+ cancer-dealing things were selected because they are either proven to help heal cancer or they are proven to help with other sub-clinical imbalances in my body. In other words, science. There is reason to trust science. At the same time, I just know there is something more. And I don’t mean hit-or-miss healers or “one weird trick” or anything filed under Woo Woo. But something more. Something big. Something I don’t yet see or understand. Something that feels really close. What would happen if I stopped doing All The Cancer Things? Well, some of them I would keep. I know I feel better when I do them. But the other ones? Are they helping me? We don’t know for sure. There’s no way to know. I’m afraid, with good reason, that if I stopped doing all the cancer things I’d feel worse. Get new brain tumors. Feel a shit ton of pain. Die. End of story. That’s what keeps me doing All The Things. I suspect there is another way that doesn’t involve taking 60+ different things multiple times every day, but what if I’m wrong? A life is a huge thing to gamble. Still. This other road feels so near. Calls to me. I don’t know how to reconcile shaking off the shackles with relying on what science has to offer. Because I question my cancer regimen, my beloved takes it to mean I want to die. This is his worst nightmare. He would personally do anything to live. And losing me would devastate him. I know this. He has said so. It hurts my heart even thinking about it. But. But. How much of our lives do we live for others? How many choices do we make based on how they would impact our beloveds? There’s a saying that we come into this world alone and leave it alone. Is this really true? (I don’t believe we are ever alone) (Even though I’ve often convinced myself that I am alone) I feel like I want to do something BIG. Not world-stage, invent-world-peace big, but BOLD. Something that would be a leap for me. Something that would get me off the treadmill it feels like I’m on. Yes, I know it’s a choice to see my regimen as shackles and a treadmill. I could choose to see it otherwise. I could choose to see it as freedom. Maybe it is. I’ve tried. I’m not there yet. I’m curious and strangely excited about brain surgery. It was both a relief and a disappointment to choose the way less invasive laser probe surgery. I know that sounds weird. I know I’d probably regret having my cranium opened up and my brain exposed. Still. This might be the only time I get to experience open brain surgery. Yeah, that sounds weird. My devoted beloved, who loves me ever so much, wants me to live more AND do All The Things. You’re depressed, he says to me, this isn’t good for healing. You need something to live for, he says. You need to get out of the house, he says. Oh god, I think he’s right. Most of my life, I lived for others. Most of my life, I made choices run by my fear of being wrong. Most of my life, I pushed away my true desires. And in the time I need them most, I afraid can’t find my true desires. I want to be kinder. More loving. I want to experience ease and abundance. I want to feel loved. And I want to feel useful. Do you want to live, my beloved demands, or die? Live? Or die? Black? Or white? It’s not black or white for me. I want to live. AND I want to die. Well, experience temporary death. Oh, I know I’ll die-die eventually. I believe that’s how it works for almost everyone. But I don’t want to wait. I am fucking impatient. I want to experience what I believe is the wonder of death (temporarily!) AND I want to live. In that order. Die first, then live. Here is my whole temporary death scenario: Something happens (this is the part I’m most fuzzy about because I honestly have no fucking clue what would have to happen to create this other than medical emergency, which gahhh I’m afraid of). My body responds. I do the whole near-death thing: bright white light, comforting figures, feeling of home, beautiful colors and sounds. It lasts maybe a minute or two, enough to change my life forever. I wake up. My body is healed (insert more non-sciencey fuzzy stuff about how exact this happens). Magic happens. Sigh. Crazy? How do I reconcile this? How do I possibly make the choices that support both my intense curiosity to experience the mysteries of death AND my deep desire for bold life? I am not looking for answers from you. These are the sorts of questions one has to answer for oneself. This is what I grapple with. It’s not death-or-life for me, either-or. It’s AND. I want it all. Yes, yes, this sounds pretty out-there. To me, anyway, and I’m a professional woo-woo person! I know. We grow up believing that we live until we die. Not the other way round. Not die and then live.
There is not nearly enough science around death, temporary death. There is a lot of mystique though. And it’s not the sort of thing one can plan for and count on. Hence my quandary. What if I don’t come back? What if I don’t get my wish to know the mysteries of death while I’m still alive? What if I’m totally fooling myself? This temporary death idea has been in my head since cancer hit two-plus years ago. I squished it away in a dark corner since then but not long ago a friend-who-sees-things told me she sees this very scenario for me. So now it’s back. Out in the open. And I’m sending my desire out into the universe because you never know.
Much love, as always.