Friday, October 11, 2013


Yesterday morning, back home from the surgeon's office, with the good news of the positive prognosis about my cancer in mind, I sat down at my computer and composed a few emails to friends and family. I was feeling quite emotional; I took off my glasses to wipe a few stray tears, and when I went to put them back on, one leg broke at the hinge, rendering them impossible to wear.

Now, I am legally blind without my glasses, which means I can't see the end of my nose clearly without them, have worn them since I was six years old, and they are rather like a security blanket for me. In the past when I've broken glasses, or lost a contact lens, I've felt anxious and unsettled until I could get a replacement.

But yesterday, I sat and looked at the two pieces, and thought, "My cancer hasn't metastasized, so what if my glasses have broken?" I went into the bathroom and put in my contact lenses, then went looking for the reading glasses I use when I'm wearing my contacts. I found them in my purse, took them out of their case to put on, opened the legs, and the same leg as on my glasses promptly fell apart.

I burst out laughing, and said aloud to myself and my Higher Power, "Oh who cares!" I went downstairs to my partner, and he offered his spare pair of reading glasses, which are the same strength as mine, and I could once again see clearly for reading.

We went out for Chinese food before my meeting, and my fortune cookie read: "All facets of your life are looking up."

I told this story at my meeting last night, and when I got to the part about my fortune cookie, the room exploded into laughter.

Perspective is a wonderful thing. There was a time in my life when having both my regular glasses and my reading glasses break on the same day would have caused me to feel annoyed, frustrated, and as if the world were conspiring against me. I took this sort of normal happening personally, and felt anger and intense frustration when life didn't go the way I believed it should. Al-Anon has helped me to learn that things may happen, but how I feel about the happenings is entirely and solely my choice.

I found this concept almost impossible to believe when new to program, I thought how I felt was just how I felt, it was a long hard haul uphill to grasp the reality that I didn't have to live my life with all those old, habitual attitudes choking my response to life, until all I could feel was anger and negativity.

In the old days, I would have thought, "Isn't that just the way it always goes, I've got cancer, and now I'm going to have to buy new glasses to the tune of $___!" And then when the reading glasses fell apart a few minutes later, I'd have thought "Why does this crap always happen to me? Why can't I ever get a break?"

Yesterday, I thought, "Oh so what, who cares!" I felt almost giddy with the wonderful realisation that my cancer hasn't metastasized, and in spite of having to have radiation and surgery, I am going to have more time with my wonderfully funny, intelligent, loving R, more time to share with my family and friends. Having a life-threatening illness concentrates the mind in an unusual way, and makes a person appreciate all the glories and marvels which surround us on a daily basis, have we only the vision and clarity to see them.

Bless you all for your words of support, I wish you a good belly-laugh today. The sun is just coming up this morning, and it's a beautiful day again.


  1. I was wondering how things were going with your health and I'm just so glad to learn you'll be fine. Hoorah! (Secretly, I thought as much since your time between appts seemed so lengthy. If the tumour were aggressive, I imagine the docs would have jumped on it. They don't like to lose. But that's just IMHO)
    Anyway, so glad for you and your reawakened perspective. Much to be grateful for today.

  2. Amazing how one's perspective can shift. A good reminder for me today.

  3. I'm so happy for you! My joke after some minor flat-tire problem after I had cancer was "First cancer, now this!" Similar to what you said. The gift of it is when I can remind myself that most things are just not that important. I don't want to waste my time.

  4. So happy to hear your good news. I have been offline for a while so just catching up.