Stop Fighting It

My appreciation for medical research and the dogged pursuit of maintaining ‘quality of life’ only continues to grow. I’m also acutely aware that my future is precarious, but isn’t that the case with all living beings? That is in fact the reality of life.

During my last meeting with my oncologist, she started out by apologizing for her tardiness. The tardiness and the apology weren’t unexpected, because she’s been late, often as much as two hours late, for all of my appointments.

She’s in high demand. And to her great credit, she does fully focus and converse with each and every patient she sees. She answers all questions honestly and in great detail, without a single glance to the clock. Occasionally her cell phone rings, and she picks up, but I don’t begrudge her that either. Rather than dart off, she takes the call, gives medical direction to the caller, and immediately refocuses back to me, the patient.

So with apologies out of the way, she got seated and began with a comment so unexpected, it has since taken up residence in my mind and continues to hang out there like an uninvited guest who won’t take their leave.

It was clear she was referring to the patient she had just seen before me.

I wish they’d stop fighting it. It’d be so much easier. Anger and denial doesn’t help.”  For a very unsettling moment, I thought she was actually looking to me for advice. I didn’t know how to respond because my mind suddenly stalled out.

stop fighting it. It’d be so much easier. Anger and denial doesn’t help….

With absolute certainty, I know there is no truth more powerful than that.

When it comes to terminal illness, anger and denial only begets more anger and denial. Which in turn brings on depression, despair and hopelessness. Anger is exhausting, both physically and mentally. And it changes nothing, because the fact still remains. Terminal is terminal…whether it’s imminent or delayed. It’s still terminal. But then again, we are ALL terminal.

So how do you tell someone who is living with stage four cancer that they must see a brighter side of the universe?

Which brings me to the anger and denial that is sweeping our cities in response to our Presidential inauguration. Maybe you’ve experienced that anger and denial yourself. From my seat, the rage and declaration of denial has become so unhinged, that those who protest against what they claim is the vitriol of hate do so by using the vitriol of hate themselves.

Do they not see the hypocrisy?

The Free Speech Movement was birthed in the 1960’s on UC Berkeley’s campus, the very campus where violent rioting just days ago shut down an event where the invited speaker dared to have an opposing view. America has so much freedom that those who smashed store fronts, attacked the media with paint balls and pepper sprayed a woman giving a live interview on the street apparently forgot that they could have instead simply chosen not to attend.

The negative attention they garnered from their own reprehensible behavior seems to have been lost on those who support the notion that it’s okay to deny First Amendment rights when it’s denied to those with whom they disagree. And now they’ve unwittingly gifted the one individual they tried to silence with more national exposure.

The election is over.  It’s really baffling to me; those who protest and march under the guise of ‘love not hate’. Is it only attainable to those who vote a particular way? Do they not see the hypocrisy?

If we can’t take pause to digest what IS, to learn what we might have done better, then how can we move forward in concert with each other…in the effort to lift America and ALL of her citizens UP?

Coupled with blatant disrespect for our duly elected officials, anger and denial only serve to deepen the massive divide that President Obama left in his wake, which unquestionably has given rise to President Trump.

How can we come to understand that sometimes life doesn’t go the way we plan…but life can still have a favorable outcome?

Well, here is something I do in fact understand: A poor medical prognosis is NOT irrefutable. Perspective and attitude can morph prognosis into a variety of possibilities that don’t preclude personal acceptance of what is and what is not.

All of us can make a directional correction in our behavior, but it must come with the understanding that life isn’t something we can control. With each second, minute and hour of the day, life is a gift…delivering lessons for furthered understanding of our own individual immortality, along with hope for a better tomorrow.

And for those of you living with stage four cancer who may feel anger and a sense hopelessness? Look within yourself. Listen to the beat of your own heart until you feel its’ strength and steady rhythm. Then eyes forward! And keep your eyes on that horizon. Don’t look back, and don’t look down. Eyes forward always, because time is what YOU make of it. No matter the distance, no matter how long the journey, the horizon will always be there waiting for you, no matter how long it takes.  Treasure the moments along the way.   Blessings to you all.  xo






It begins with you, Mr. President

184737_10151225785732286_1670144013_nI’m sorry Congress, but this partial shutdown of government you’ve managed to pull off on the American people is not acceptable.  We have elected you to be leaders.  You certainly campaigned on your ability to lead, and you won the right to serve your constituents. You are in office solely to represent us, WE THE PEOPLE.  And I’m speaking to all of you: Democrats and Republicans alike.

And the way I see it, it begins with YOU, Mr. President.  It doesn’t END with you…it BEGINS with you.  Where’s all that rhetoric now about reaching across the aisle and working together?  You’ve had all this time now, and you’ve let us all down… not just those who aren’t in your corner, but millions of those who’ve been in your corner all along.  And to that last group, you rally them by continuing to point fingers and  lay blame.  You are aware, are you not, that reaching across the aisle means extension from BOTH DIRECTIONS? Or are you just a slow learner?

So, here we all are, wondering what’s next.  This morning, government employees actually took the time to drive their government vehicles and post CLOSED signs at the entry to the parking lot in Tennessee Valley, within a stones throw from where I live.   From that dirt parking lot, multiple trail heads lead the way through the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and stretch for miles, connecting Muir Woods and beach communities within coastal Marin County. These trails are accessible from a multitude of places all over the county, not just the parking lot in Tennessee Valley.  They’re accessible from right up above my home.

The road leading up to that dirt lot was lined today with vehicles on both sides. Hikers and bikers parked their cars there because you blocked access to the dirt lot.  Seriously?   You’re going to demand that we aren’t allowed to park our vehicles in that dirt lot and hike our own trails?  How about suggesting your laid-off government employees hike those trails, to clear their heads a bit.

Surely as a community organizer, you can understand that you’ve done  your community no favors? By refusing to compromise on literally every objective in your playbook, you’ve simply widened the gap that was already fracturing your community, also known as  these United States of America.

Don’t tell us we aren’t allowed to enjoy the abundance of Golden Gate National Park that is easily accessible from our own neighborhoods and this beautiful city of San Francisco.  Oh, and those national monuments in D.C.?  Those too belong to WE THE PEOPLE. I salute those politicians from Mississippi who found a way to get the gates unlocked to allow these WWII vets to see the  memorial that pays tribute to them and thousands of other brave souls who put their lives on the front lines.  These vets are part of your community too, Mr President…you remember them, don’t you?  They’re the ones who’ve stepped up to make sure this great nation remains free, no matter which political office holds the President of the United States.

Seriously? Four more years of this?

WOW.  As a longtime registered Independent, I’ll admit this is not the result I’d so hoped for.  But, I’m glad my liberal friends can celebrate this evening, and I do so value their friendships.  I’m very disappointed in the outcome, and all I can think of right now is that old saying ‘FOOL ME ONCE, SHAME ON YOU.  FOOL ME TWICE, SHAME ON ME’.  I feel so strongly that 4 more years of Obama will bring nothing more than continued gridlock in D.C. and decline of opportunity for anyone chasing the American Dream.  We all want a better future for our nation.  I’ve been reading all the snide gloating from and others.  Snide and snarky fuels the animosity from all directions.  Chill out, people.  Reaching across the aisle starts with each one of us, not just with our elected representatives.

Well, if nothing else, maybe NOW our President will come clean about Benghazi.  Transparency …wasn’t that one of his campaign promises in 2008?

I worry about the future of this country for my children and future generations.  If financial success is chastised and punished, where is the reward for achieving the American Dream?  Or, has today’s America redefined the dream?  Based on this vote today, financial independence and fiscal responsibility are no longer admired, but punishable by tax law. Being a good American isn’t about hard work or integrity any longer.   Everyone deserves a handout in this America…whether or not they work for it.  We’re all just victims of our circumstances, apparently.

With this vote today, a bare majority of Americans have chosen. The financial cliff is coming fast but we’re barreling forward  no matter the peril.  Our country will be forever changed. As Condoleezza Rice so clearly articulated, every nation around the world knows that a country who has lost control of its finances, has lost control.

$16 TRILLION deficit and growing by leaps and bounds over the next four years!  We’re in SERIOUS trouble by 2016.  I cannot even imagine, but if I’m still with this blogging exercise, I hope and PRAY that I will reflect on this very blog post and realize that my worries were for naught.  Based on Obama’s playbook these past 4 years, I don’t think that’s very likely.  But, you know me…”Don’t look back, unless you’re going that way!”  It’s my motto, and I’m already looking ahead to a brighter day.

One day at a time, that’s all.