Remembrance

 

Maple tree, Clun

“It has been said ‘Time heals all Wounds.’ I don’t agree. The wounds remain.  In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens.  But it is never gone.” Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy.

It’s been a long while since my last post to FEC-THis. Summer has come and gone, Halloween and Guy Fawkes too.  My country remains perplexed by the decision of the majority of its people to say goodbye to the EU. The same confusion now looks set to grip the US. The catalyst may be different but the root cause seems similar and all the while, pestilence, war, famine and death continue to spread their wares throughout the globe. Tomorrow is Remembrance Sunday, a day when we remember those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom. Over the years many millions have sacrificed yet our freedom remains fragile and we continue to live in troubled times.

It’s good to remember but sometimes it’s good to forget.  Or at least try.

So much has happened since I last wrote here, some of it good, some of it not so good. Pre-cancer levels of health and wellness continue to elude me. Simple things like opening jars or bottle tops are more challenging than they might otherwise have been.  Running, climbing (stairs, steep paths, hills) and dancing are all possible in my head but  unimaginably taxing in reality. Reading, reasoning, analysis and deduction take effort when not so long ago they were entirely effortless.

Life is full of compromises and treating cancer to secure more days on Earth has, at least for me, meant sacrificing many things that came easily before.

Being sad or mad about all of this seems the most natural course of action but those emotions take a lot of energy and no amount of rage or sorrow has ever been able to change the past.  Like the deciduous trees shaking off leaves in readiness for winter, weaving rich carpets of amber, bronze and gold, the last few months have been a time of  reintegration. Time to be in the moment, no past and no future, no wraiths from yesterday or castles in the air of some mythical tomorrow. The trauma that was, the scars that are and whatever might light the way or lurk in darkness along the road ahead, none of it matters. It is what it is, no more and no less.

I began this journey because I needed to save my life, but I wasn’t saving it for me. Putting food on the table and a fire in the hearth for those who depend on me has always been the driver. Four years on, I finally realise my overwhelming sense of duty and responsibility for others is nothing short of a Herculean task – one that my tango with cancer leaves me ill-equipped to complete. So I’ve decided Herculean is not for me, whether that’s capturing the Cretan Bull, bringing back the Mares of Diomedes or simply being the person everyone expects to make everything alright.  In an earlier life this decision would’ve left me riddled with guilt, and plagued with thoughts of failure and defeat. Today it brings a gentle air of comfort, long-awaited tranquility and reprieve.

This weekend I’m remembering all those who sacrificed for my freedom and how very grateful to them I’ll always be. In a small and quiet way I’m also remembering myself.

 

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Remembrance

    • It’s not easy to write so honestly. Goodness knows how many times I’ve rebuked myself for simply pondering my own needs. Even if you never say it, hold on to your thoughts and be true to yourself. None of us is Hercules and no one should expect us to be.

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  1. Hi Tracy,

    I’m working with a team in development on a new content platform for cancer patients + their families. We’ve come across your online voice, and we’d love to explore your becoming a contributor. I would love to discuss this further with you — please send an email to ashley@equalityequation.co if you are interested 🙂

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best,
    Ashley Mason

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Acceptance and change are burdens enough for anyone. I’m glad that you have made it this far and look forward to your inspirational posts in the future. As bad as things may appear, we all have a lot to be grateful for.
    Ω

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    • One of the best things to come from a truly horrible experience is the discovery of people who are both foundation stones and light houses for those of us who end up in the maelstrom of a life changing situation. You’re one of those people Allan, and someone whose support and kindness I will always be grateful for

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  3. As always I find myself full of admiration for you, your words helped me through FEC-T greatly, the humour with which you described many grim times. I too suffer the fall out from this aggressive poison, my only hope is that it not only destroyed many of my body cells but that it was as destructive with the cancer. it took 18 months for my blood to return to normal, 18 months for my damaged achilles tendon to repair itself. I still spend half my day chasing my tail looking for things which are often just under my nose. Words get lost in the back of my brain. Breathlessness and fatigue are my constant companions.I guess that is the price of being alive. However I have found that mindfulness has been a great help.The MCBT Ca course was designed for cancer sufferers. I was very sceptical, but it did teach me strategies that do help in times of crisis.

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    • It’s definitely a potent concoction and I’m not sure it’s lingering side effects are well understood. It’s good to be alive but you’re right, there is a cost involved and it’s high enough to be noticeable. I’ve been carrying a heavy weight for a long time with total responsibility for everything. Until this summer I hadn’t stopped to think about that or the toll it takes on me. Being mindful has definitely helped because I don’t feel I carry the weight anymore.

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  4. Nice hearing from you. It’s been a while and, yes, quite a long road from there to here. Funny–I have been pretty silent on my space as well. Like you, it’s not that things aren’t happening but, rather, that now is a time for taking things in, letting them settle and seeing what the next turn of direction might be. It’s a peaceful time fro the most part, eh?

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    • Hello Maurice, I noticed you’d been quieter too. Sometimes space and the great outdoors is the best nourishment a soul can have. The last few months have been peaceful overall, one health scare, lots of tests but not cancer – phew! How are things for you?

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