My very good friend and spiritual brother JB is in the hospital today for open-heart surgery. For those who don't know, he has stage IV melanoma that he has been living with for the last two years. His cancer has spread from his skin to his brain, heart, and lungs. He has had treatments to treat his brain and lung tumors, namely lasers that zapped his brain and immune strengthening treatments that were incredibly hard on his body, and left him recovering for weeks at a time. He has been on a modified Gerson diet this whole time, which is basically a really healthy way to eat; cutting out meat, cheese, salt, sugar, fats, and alcohol, and subsisting mainly on vegetables and fruits. There are a lot of juices drunk during the day, and some enemas to deal with. I don't know his current subscription to the diet, but I know he has maintained a high level of health over the last two years, which has had a major impact on his ability to live well through this cancer experience.
Just recently he has had major lung problems over the holidays, and dangerous tumorous growth in his lung has necessitated part of this surgery, which entails removing part of his lung. Another part of this surgery today is removing a tumor on his heart that MRI scans found when he went in for a check-up. This tumor has to be removed, and he may need a pacemaker to function well after the surgery.
Another part of the surgery that has been postponed until perhaps next week is removing a large tumor from his arm which is threatening use of his arm.
Here we have a beautiful man suffering from so many cancer related problems, and yet he is also living a good full life. Today is sort of a major wake-up call for me, in that it definitely has the implications that things will not be the same afterwards. In a way this is pessimistic, but it also seems more realistic. I have been struggling with this question in other parts of my life as well: How long and strong do you hold onto hope for something you want in life, and when do you let it drift away and just find the next piece of joy or peace that you can in this life? So this is what heartbreak is...letting go.
I look at him and see a great friend and teacher who is suffering through a situation I can only imagine, and I search for a metaphor, but I can't find one. I just see a friend.
I am sending all my love to JB and Jason today: internally I am sending JB and Jason good healing energy, wishes for more life to live together, love for my loved ones, respect for my friends, and appreciation for the very life sparks that warms me. Externally I dedicate this day to peace with my friends, family, and coworkers, all those I encounter on today's journey, and peace within myself most especially.
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