Sunday, July 13, 2008

Full Catastrophe Living Jon Kabat-Zinn

Keep your eyes wide, the chance won't come again

Bob Dylan

Speak now or forever hold your peace

A remnant of the Catholic Church banns

A non medical post today.

Well almost. I am feeling my usual daytime improvement as my cortisol levels climb in the AM, and I have the distractions of family and my first visit from someone outside my family (well we might be related, but we would probably have to go back to King David to find the link). My funny friend, Dr. Arthur Zimmerman, world famous dermatologist, came by to joke with me and the nurse, and confirmed the diagnose of my rash as herpes simplex. Not folliculitis for which I was originally treated.

Here's what I am pondering. I have been focused on the goal of curing my leukemia. I have put together a radical plan and am in the midst of its successful execution with single mindedness and if I might say, at some risk and many costs. I try to be clearly directed with no distractions towards that life of health and joy that my donor so simply and eloquently wish for me.

So what's the problem. The problem is that the journey is the destination. By that do I mean the the painful and the mundane? Do I mean the blisters and the constipation? You bet I do. I need to give my all to what the present presents presently. Otherwise you can't get there from here. I need to be aware of what obstacles or inconveniences are diverting from my goal, and need to give them my all.  I have to heed the words of Luke 4:23: Physician Heal Thyself, AGAIN. So I call my on call doctor and tell her what I think is going on, very diplomatically and very clearly.  They have missed the diagnosis of my rash, and this is no time to be timid or humble. This is critical care.  I must say that the on call doctor was most responsive and helpful.

But what if you are not a doctor and you are not dear friends with a world famous dermatologist. You must trust your instincts, and if there is something that is not going as planned, politely get it fixed.  Call for help, get a second opinion, ask for a consult. It means using every gift that G-d granted you, but especially your courage and wisdom and grace. It means paying close attention to every sign post on the road to recovery, even the obscure ones that are difficult to read. This journey has no shortcuts and many possible fatal detours.

So it is process or result? Is it journey or destination? Do we, fellow travelers, keep our eyes on the target or stop and smell the roses and feel the thorns? YES is the answer. Live in the moment with purpose.

Jon Kabat-Zinn said it something like this: 

Don't Cogitate, Agitate, and Analyze. 
Meditate, act and be aware. 


Blogger Bob & Lori said...

Interesting post, dear Doc. Been following the blog site everyone day (or so).

I say to you, always be aware of the big picture. In the largeness of life, as it exists today, tomorrow and the day after. You don't have to give up long term goals in order to live for today. YOU CAN HAVE BOTH. How fabulous is that?

Good luck with my simple piece of wisdom - and stay with the good fight. It is soooooooo worth it.

Lori (and Bob too) Morales

July 17, 2008 at 2:55 PM  

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