On The Days That I Feel Really Sick


I am living now with cancer as my new normal and as such I have developed coping skills that seem to have popped up on their own.

I have learned the fine art of ignoring the fact that my clothes no longer fit me no matter how many new holes I poke in my belt and even convincing myself that the odd tingling in my fingers is now due to the odd position in which I last slept. All of that notwithstanding, there are days that rise above the fray; days on which I feel really sick.

That is a profound mystery to me, for saying this means that there are days where I must be OK; days on which my clever deceptions still work and my body decides to grant me a momentary reprieve. The unsolved riddle of good days and not so good days, up seasons and down moments, for me is an unresolved mystery that is beyond my ability to resolve. In order to figure this out, I have decided to visit with an old friend of mine, Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes employed a specific methodology for uncovering that which is mysterious. First he would define the mystery to get an objective understanding of what is happening. After defining the mystery, he would then see in it a unique learning experience. Finally and most significantly, he would use what he gleaned to move forward in a positive way.

In unlocking the mystery of the days on which I feel really sick, I suspect that my friend Sherlock Holmes would suggest the following solution which, true to form, is actually hidden in plain sight: If you have had good days then it is profoundly possible that there may well be other good days already set aside for you yet to come. That being the case, the present does not define the future unless you allow it to do so.

What the present does offer is the opportunity to develop equanimity amid duress knowing that your current struggle will end leaving a fresh life lesson. Learn to dance in the rain. Sickness has hit you with its strongest punch and even though you have been knocked down, you have not been knocked out because you are still here. You are still standing and in the final analysis, still winning the battle. And since you are still in the fight, there must be something within you that keeps you standing, keeps you fighting and ultimately snatches a painful victory from today's engagement.

Most significantly, never denigrate the significance of your experiences for others. People in Washington, DC save all year for a vacation in the Caribbean, while people in the Caribbean may save all year for a vacation to Washington, DC; both hoping to be enriched by what the other sees every day. That spark within you is priceless. There is no financial account with sufficient funding to purchase it, for it is only borne from the victory that only intense battle can bring.

Your victories are not yours alone, but to be shared for the benefit of those around you to encourage their greater good as well. Share! Thank you Mr. Holmes for your sage advice.

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