Struggling

I bet it’s been five days since I’ve written a post, by far a record for me, unless I was away somewhere.  Illness is so humbling.  A few posts back, I was feeling poorly but I still wrote my daily thoughts.  Later, things changed.

I’ve had bronchitis for 13 days now, and the coughing has worn me out, plus my ribs have been getting awfully sore.  Whenever I ate, coughing would start.  And the worst has been the vague nausea I’ve felt after eating.  Didn’t even seem to matter what type of food.

Gosh, I don’t want to sink into “poor me”.  But it’s been quite the experience.  I’ve been worlds away from putting fingertips to keys.  So dull in the head.  Sometimes I’ve felt guilty for not writing, but I’ve usually been able to let that go.  Thank God.  I see my need for rest.

In the back of my agitated head has been the fear that this is not really bronchitis.  It’s lung cancer … exactly what took my lovely wife away from me.  Today, my doctor Julie had me get a chest X-ray, to rule out the really bad stuff.  If I don’t hear back from her by Tuesday, I’m fine.  And she thinks I’m fine.  I thought my meditation practice would prevent terror from seeping through, but good luck with that thought.  Fear has overwhelmed me at times over the past few days.

It’s so amazing not to be me, not to kibitz with folks I meet each day, not to move my body and sweat, not to love deeply.  Just blahness, fear and an overcoat of nausea.

I had bought a ticket for a concert that was held in London last night – a marvelous folk duo from Newfoundland called “The Fortunate Ones”.  Turns out that Catherine and Andrew were recently engaged.  They were so happy on stage.

I sat in the front row, trying not to cough.  A lot of little wheezes.  A couple of times, they asked the audience to sing along … and I couldn’t.  Again such a strangeness for me.  I love belting out the melodies, and sometimes the harmonies.  It’s okay, Bruce.  Your body doesn’t have it right now.

My aliveness returned in the moments when Catherine and Andrew sang to each other, and when each rocked forward towards the loved one, her caressing the accordion and him picking out the melody on his guitar.  It was like they were making love as they leaned in.  So beautiful to see.  And Catherine’s voice especially touched the heavens.

The coughing continued, and the nausea, but the world was a lighter place.  Thank you.

There.  I’ve actually written a post.  Hallelujah.  Hopefully, I’ll talk to you again tomorrow.

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