14/4/2016: Reflective Journaling on Teddi's Diagnosis

I wanted to share a personal journal entry from the evening after my call from Prof. Morris (written of course in my confettidori!).  This entry was written in the Canberra airport, as I boarded the plane for Perth, Australia to attend a major announcement from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency where my research was to be featured.  It was one of the biggest moments of my life! And just before I headed off to celebrate - in came the "here we go again" phone call..


So I got the phone call I was afraid of today...

So i got the phone call I was afraid of today - Teddi's cancer is back. 

Those words are so hard to write, and even harder to fully comprehend. With an hour left before my trip to Perth to announce my ARENA project, my bags packed, my suit jacket on - the call comes in.

Just as I move forward to celebrate and announce my greatest victory, in comes my greatest tragedy.  I could barely make it through that phone call with Prof. Morris - shaking as I noted what he said: there is recurrence, tumour in the lower left part of the pelvis, and she'll need another operation to handle it.

Shit that is heavy.  It means, once again, a big surgery, ICU time, a long recovery and another bruising to a beautiful soul (which is of course the hardest part for me).  She was just finding her stride, just starting to bloom, just beginning to understand herself in a profound way - and BOOM, here comes the counter-punch, the gutshot, the "remember me?".  All of this is such an enormous thing to contemplate, and creates such compassionate sadness for her within me.

My whole body fell out from under me when that phone call ended. Straight to the floor, I collapsed. So devoid of any knowing on what to do - just like that moment on the Canberra Hospital bathroom floor, 2.5 years ago, on the night of my son's birth, after I'd tucked him in for his first night of sleep, when I was finally able to start to process what had just happened to me...

But from that collapsed position of tears - one thing picked me back up, and gave me courage. She is still here! And more than that, she is a more incredible version of herself today because of he struggle with this disease 2.5 years ago. Such strength, creativity and vision have emerged from that courageous woman who made it through those tough 5 weeks in hospital back in 2014. Who stood up and walked laps in the wards with all her tubes & machines in tow.  Who handled that bastardous NG tube and 3 weeks of not being able to eat or drink like a boss.  The woman who emerged victorious and grateful on a a long ride home, two years ago, to a dusty, sunfire sunset - which looked very much like the raging sky tonight.

And this man, who writes these words,  sitting here on the floor of the Canberra Airport,  headed to announce his biggest life achievement, now feels brave, bold and capable of rising to this new challenge.  I have already faced the scariest moments, the deepest of fears - the potential loss of my wife back in 2014 - which means that today, I am ready for this future, in all of its uncertainty, because I know what it takes to make it through this: surrendered courage.  

Moments like that phone call, that collapse on the floor - show me so profoundly that I cannot be the sole shaper of my own fate, the true former of my future.  All of my sense of control is an illusion reflective of a small world and a small mind.  I am but a bit of chaff in the wind, a tiny grain of sand in the infinite Universe, bounced about by forces much greater than myself. 

And so, as I board this plane, I'll move ahead surrendered, to whatever happens.  Wherever this goes. And with that attitude, I move forward knowing that fear has no place in my heart. I will engage this with the resolution to be strong, confident and bold.  I will be unwavering in the knowledge that, while l am just a tiny part of this big Universe, I am at the same time, a manifestation of its amazingness, and I need to just go with the flow. 

So here I go, surrendered. Don't wish me luck, wish me love. Love and acceptance for whatever is ahead.

 

-Nick-



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