Ok…So Now I Have Cancer
It’s been 3 weeks now since I got the diagnosis. A few short days before Christmas to be exact. It still feels quite surreal. After revolving between being strong, self-deprecating and emotional with my son, father and a dear friend via phone calls, I tried to let it sink in. The news was numbing and I sensed it was going to take a while to land. Two days later, I traveled to Oregon to visit the rest of my family for the holidays having decided to share the news with my Mom, brother and sister in person. Normally a bit of a lone wolf working and living in Los Angeles, I was looking forward to being surrounded by family.
The rest of my family received the news lovingly and supportive. As I knew they would. I sensed their fear but they did a good job of not showing it very much. My mom even started asking about making plans to fly to LA to be with me during surgery in early-March when they will be removing my prostate. It started to feel real.
Christmas was nice…it’s always interesting being around family. Stuff can come up as we try and hold space for each other while ducking and diving as old wounds surface, combined with love and maturity being the new normal. The news brought us closer together. I got into a routine of going for walks with my brother and would go drop in on my sister at her work; not to mention running errands and spending time with mom and hanging out with my step-father. I even got some visits in with good friends. In the past when I would go up there for the holidays, I would get antsy in the slower moving Mayberry RD type town of Silverton, Oregon. This time I relished it. It was nice to get out of the hustle, bustle and frenetic energy of LA. Being in Oregon with family for the holidays was the perfect tonic for me to settle into my diagnosis, rest and get emotionally ready for what was to come down the pike.
It really started to feel real when my doctor’s office called a few days after Christmas and gave me the appointment dates for an MRI I needed of my pelvic area as well as for the bone scintigraphy scan which is a nuclear medicine imaging technique to help diagnose and see if the cancer had spread into the bone. Ok…now you have my attention.
I am taking care of my body, mind and spirit prior to surgery and plan to continue after surgery. While I already lead a very active and healthy lifestyle, I switched over to a plant-based diet and already feel better and stronger. I want to be ready for whatever comes.
As a self-help author and someone who has always tried to be the best version of himself, I realize that there are lessons in all facets and experiences we go through in life if we pay attention. Although it might sound crazy, there is a reward to this process and experience of having prostate cancer. It’s an opportunity for me to be more whole and complete.
This diagnosis has already given me many gifts. The gift of learning how to receive more completely, the gift of readjustment to let go of areas in my life that no longer serve me, the continued lowering of my shields that have acted as defensive mechanisms to now allow me to be an even more transparent person and the gift of allowing a deeper kind of love to permeate through my being. I hold intuitively and, in my heart, that I very much plan on getting through this and moving forward in an even stronger, more loving and self-aware way.
While it hasn’t always been easy for me with my passion and drive, not to mention my accomplished-based nature, surrendering to the process and “letting go” of control is a very important gift to learn how to utilize. This is my moment to surrender control and completely trust. I have been strong for myself and others for so long that I am giving myself permission to let go. I am at peace with that.
I am going to try and face this as another opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and allow myself to be completely present as I can be. I will be strong and confident, but will also drop in and allow those vulnerable moments to move through me when I am not feeling as strong and feel the need to grieve or cry. And then I will bounce back strong again. It’s important to let oneself go to those places and “feel” in those moments that we are feeling.
I would be lying if I didn’t say that I was nervous. Anytime you are dealing with something like this there can be issues that come up as well as potential side-effects to how my body might react after surgery. But I will take things one step at a time.
So, for now it’s business as usual while I take care of myself and move through and accept the different emotions that come and go during this process. I am ready for a deeper level of love in all areas of my life. For myself, in relationship and with family and friends.
Remember when I said earlier that one of the gifts that I have already taken from this diagnosis was learning how to be a better receiver? Well, I would be totally open to receiving your positive thoughts and love as I step into and move through this experience. To be continued…
-G. Brian Benson Copyright 2020