Sunday 25 July 2021

Thought Picnic: In terms of the friend I have become

Unwittingly winning battles

Sometimes, we are unaware of the lessons in adversity that through what we have lived and experienced become the pointers for others in their times of trouble. When in my own situation out of ignoring the essential and the circumstances of disease progression, I came within 5 weeks of expiry according to the prognosis, I had no other choice but to face what was ahead of me.

There were battles I had to fight, mostly in the mind and usually unseen in the pain, the fears, the uncertain, the unintended, and the anxieties that could bring on debilitating worry, in those, I could not afford to be defeated, my circumstances were part of life, and people do live it, for it belongs in the spectrum of the human experience.

Acceptance leads tomorrow

The other issue was cancer, that I could neither battle nor fight, not with my already ineffective immune system nor with some pretense of mind over matter. I had to rely on the efficacy of the drugs and the treatment hoping that my body could carry me through the ordeal to a form of survival and recovery.

The greatest battle was in my mind, the transition of responding to pain alone whilst being in total denial of my condition to the point when I accepted that this was serious, I had cancer and so, what next? Once providence and I were in agreement that things were going to look and get better, we were on a long hard journey to recovery.

You are first in your situation

Inadvertently, the gruelling encounters with medical personnel and medical science have informed me of how to seek and obtain the best medical outcomes for whatever situation is under review. Whilst not getting doctors and consultants to second-guess themselves, it is important that they are convinced and convincing of what course of action to take.

If at any time I have had to encourage anyone, it is to be appreciated, respected, and treated with dignity. The superiority of a doctor’s knowledge, experience, and expertise should never be ahead of you as their subject and patient, it should be subject to your understanding with detailed explanation of what they want to do, the purpose for it and the outcomes expected.

Afterall, it is your body first, before it is their Guinea pig. That truth alone is sometimes enough to give a new sense of purpose and acuity to your situation. To my friends, I am a living miracle, a message of hope, a teller of better stories, and as one so endearingly said and I have heard in different modes of expression, I am their role model of resilience. I am just thankful for the life I have been given and the example it lends to others.

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