My Journey Presses Onward

The last time I wrote about my encounter with my friend The Grim Reaper was in September after dealing with a medical issue this summer revolving around my gall bladder and the potential news I may have cancer. At that time I wrote the following: 
“As it turned out fortunately, there was no presence of cancer in the intestine or the gall bladder. I had my gall bladder removed because it was diseased, but nothing more than that. And yes, that was wonderful news. I realized if I hadn’t even developed the bacterial infection, I wouldn’t have even known about the other problems so that they could be treated. Not doing so may have resulted in other issues. And even with this good news, there’s still a couple minor things that have to be dealt with later this Fall, but I move through this trusting in the understanding I have learned – my physical body is also in transition and getting ready with my mind and spirit for this new time and journey.”  
And so the time recently came to deal with the things that were left undone. In October I went back for a scan of my kidneys because during the whole endeavor with the bacterial infection I developed during my last week in Peru, not only was there concern for a mass in my gall bladder, but also a small mass on one of my kidneys. At the time the gall bladder issue seemed more urgent, so it was decided a later scan of the kidneys would be done after I was well through and recovered from the surgery. And that scan showed the mass still present with an understanding between my doctor and I that it appeared to be a cancer and should be removed. Surgery again, a little more involved with a little longer recovery. And last week all this was done…with the discovery that the small mass was a malignant form of kidney cancer. It was completely removed, and it’s margin for the possibility of return is very small. I had cancer, for real this time, and now it’s gone. Again, wonderful news!  
As I sit here writing, I’m still taking in this whole experience, one through which a thread of peace has been flowing the entire time. You see, except for the month upon my return from Peru when that bacterial infection disabled me through a rash of physical symptoms, I have been feeling exceptionally well and energetic. Since recovery from the gall bladder surgery and the start of a new job with long days sometimes, I have even been experiencing renewed vigor coming physically and from deep down in my spirit. Yet an unexpected encounter with most likely something I ate in a place I would have never been had I not made a conscious decision to leave my routine and go after my heart led me to this moment…the removal from my body of cancer that I had no idea was there. My doctor reminds me of what I am so aware…how grateful I should be for my circumstances. A not uncommon infection that made my body physically miserable for a month was in disguise the means to rid the same body of disease. It’s all speculation, but it’s conceivable that I would have not decided to leave my job and home in Pittsburgh and continued working. I struggled with the actual decision for some time before making it. I’m told this kind of cancer would have grown and then I may have started to develop symptoms. This kind of cancer could also have spread to other places even before symptoms fully developed to recognize the problem. So, I suppose another scenario could have been that I never made my decision and someday later developed a problem that may have prevented me doing what I did this year, or worse yet that may not have been treatable in the same way. Why is this important to me? Because my decision has been tied to an ongoing call deep in my heart to let go of the safe, the secure, the routine and go after the things that have been stirring in my heart. To rid my life of the things that were taking up space but not serving purpose. To simplify and embrace that which is in front of me.  
My whole experience during my first week in Peru engaging in shaman ayahuasca ceremonies has been continuing since that time. An encounter with a spiritual medicine that purges the body of all that stands in the way of Spirit fully moving within you. From my first ceremony I shared with others there that something had shifted in my physical body and was going on in a way I didn’t understand. And at the same time I connected more deeply than ever with love, with oneness, and with Spirit.  
And so for me right now, taking in my recent experience is yet another reminder of a flow into which I have chosen to step. A flow of grace. A flow of heart. A flow of Spirit. A flow that continues to move me in a direction where things that I cannot take on this journey are being released so that I may embrace it more fully.  


One thought on “My Journey Presses Onward

  1. Tony, I have been thinking about you and I really thought the mass in your kidney was probably the same as in your gall bladder-no cancer. it’s scary to think that it was. But I am soo glad they got it all and it’s a slim chance that it could return. Joyce

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