Taking some time to think about things.

Posted on August 25th, 2008 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

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I went away basically to reset my thinking, draw some lines in the sand and set some directions for this next chapter of life. For a year now, I have been in active treatment. For nearly two years, I have been sick. Most of the decision-making has been related to survival. These decisions are usually straight forward as there is the matter of urgency and the consequences are clear. “We can buy more time if we do this”, “Okay, let’s do it then”.

Beginning remission was permission to start a new chapter. I was hoping to get stuck back into work and begin living again with some hint of normality. It was like all the ‘normal life’ problems and decisions that had been put on hold for a year were now waiting to be addressed. Some of the issues needed to be addressed in light of the consequences of the diagnosis.

These are some extracts from a prayer I wrote on the first night. I was PUI (praying under the influence) of a bourbon or two and I was really hoping that God would drop everything and speak to me clearly.

“Well God, it’s time to stop playing ‘hard to get’, and I will stop playing ‘hard to find’. I know you have had an unfair advantage anyway, being omniscient and all, you always know where I am. But that doesn’t stop me from thinking I’m hidden from you sometimes.

I don’t know how many times I’ve come away in solitude, craving your presence, wanting you to stand out, wishing you would light my campfire without matches to show me you’ve joined me for the weekend. But I’ve always lit the fire myself, and many times I have come away from taking time out wondering if you have soothed my cravings. Why is it sometimes you don’t show up?

Tonight you have got some competition. Some campers down by the lake are playing John Denver and Eurovision’s forgotten hits too loud. The bourbon is keeping me warm but making my writing messy. If you are going to speak to me, I hope it is this week. You have led me through a year of treatment, fear, exhaustion, sadness, sadness, joy at times, confusion and frustration.

You have been present, or shown your presence through people in my life and through your creation, a fine example of which I sit in tonight by a campfire, watching a near-full moon over a dam (man-made, you could have done better). Whether people acknowledge you or not, you reveal yourself to me through them, and I recognize you in them. If you are honing my sensitivity to seeing you in people, that’s great, but I wish you would talk to me straight. It’s kind of like passing notes in class otherwise.
I am about to take to the stereo of the campers’ near the lake. God give me patience. Either give me patience or a baseball bat, because either will do.

This week I need to confess a lot to you, I need to set some directions with you for myself, I need to take these directions into my relationships with my wife, family and friends. You know everything I have been through in this phase of life, and I have become indifferent in many respects. I figure you owe me, or you will understand at least why I feel this way.

How am I meant to deal with this realistically? Some people don’t get any time for reflection, no time to analyze, not time to be shaken up. You just allow them to be taken. Although I am thankful that I have this grace period, I feel it is more responsibility than before diagnosis although, in a way, nothing should have changed. My family is still my family, Lib’s and my marriage continues in sickness and health, and my lifelong friendships have proven to be exactly that, and more. I have it good.

So why do I choke up when I write this? As far as I am concerned, you have never not come good. Late, in my opinion, yes. Cryptically, yes. Painfully, yes. Faithfully, yes. I am just saying this to remind me. I am at the pointy end now. I am ready now. I am either ready now, or you’ll have to find another disease to get my attention. Please don’t take that seriously.
So I am asking you to meet with me severely. I don’t have time to play around I feel. If someone really wants you to meet with them, sometimes you leave them hanging. I don’t want you to do that now.”

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This is what my view was while praying. Yes, you would have your eyes open too.

You may get the sense that there are other stories that go on behind the main story, and that is the case here, but I think that is not to be unexpected in anyone’s lives. The cancer is one thing to deal with, but even people who are sick have to tend to the things that we all deal with from time to time. The past year of treatment has resulted in some things being put aside for a time and some new issues to arise due to the new circumstances. It is now time to get back into this aspect of reality.

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4 comments.

Katie

Comment on August 26th, 2008.

I hope you are sitting at home right now typing Installment 3 of Cam’s Bush Adventure. It’s a beautiful read so far Mr H. Don’t stop. k

Cam

Comment on August 26th, 2008.

Wait for the part where Bigfoot makes an entrance. It’s my favourite!

Rach W

Comment on August 26th, 2008.

The noisey campers, a big pet hate of mine, you go for seclusion and being at one with nature and find instead other peoples bad muscially tastes or loud generators rammed down your throat… ahhh, feeling your pain. I would have thought it was too cold for camping, I must just be a big girls blouse.

Cam

Comment on August 26th, 2008.

No, you would be on the money as far as how cold it was Rach. The first night was freezing and the second night was warmer but it rained. My tolerance for roughing it expired so I rolled up my wet swag, dried stuff off with my wet tea towels and headed to the hometown. Roughing it is so much more enjoyable when you are in a house with a kettle, heater and hot shower.

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