Nov 27, 2014: Intracranial Radiation Done

Well … it has certainly been an eventful week.  As mentioned in my last blog entry (Nov 23, 2014: “The Plot Thickens”), after the enlarging dura lesion was seen on a brain MRI on Nov 18th, I was advised to undergo three high-dose stereotactic radiation treatments to try to shrink it down and hopefully eradicate it completely.   This kind of radiation procedure is a true wonder of modern medical technology, but not easy to prepare for or undergo.

My radiation and medical oncology teams moved heaven and earth to make it possible for me to get this done quickly, and I’m profoundly grateful for their efforts and work on my behalf — particularly given the extremely serious nature and location of this lesion.  It feels like a miracle to have been able to get this done during the Thanksgiving holiday week.  I’m glad to report that the treatments were completed yesterday as planned, and went well.  Although it is too soon to say what the ultimate results will be, I am already noticing what seems to be signs of an early response. I had developed a slight anomaly in my left eye, which the doctors thought was related to the dura lesion slightly pressing on the visual cortex in the back of the brain. Fortunately, the visual anomaly seems to be a bit better, and the headaches seem to be better too, which are hopeful signs.

It is hard to adequatley describe my experience with the deep physical and emotional vulnerability that has arisen in dealing with cancer.  But I feel over today to share a few additional thoughts.

One of the great paradoxes of life is that we are all, in my experience, a mysterious blend of being extremely powerful, and at the same time, ultimately vulnerable and powerless in so many ways. We are capable of thinking, planning, envisioning, creating, and accomplishing such great things in life.  Even beyond that, I believe we are eternal beings, intimately and inseparably connected with the Divine, and to what I — and so many others — believe is the most powerful force in the world: love.  At the very same time, we are also mortal, and ultimately, completely exposed and vulnerable to forces and events that lie far beyond our control.  These events, as we all know, can occur both in the outer world … and within our own physical bodies.  Illness and infirmity — not to mention so many of the utterly distressing events happening in the world around us — make our vulnerability abundantly clear.

Part of what makes the confrontation with deep vulnerability even more difficult is the extreme emphasis that our culture and world places on of “doing” versus “being.”  As I think we would all agree, our world honors action, accomplishment, and achievement … and tends to shun weakness or vulnerability.  There is an almost overwhelming pressure to be healthy, strong, happy, and successful.  We tend not to feel comfortable making space for the stillness, silence, and the simplicity of pure being.  Even more, we do almost anything to avoid the dark and more difficult aspects of life, including fear, pain, suffering, illness, depression and vulnerability … and least of all, our mortality.

Without a doubt, my own ordeal with cancer, and all that has been consumed in my life as a result, has made these issues of vulnerability and loss of control more personal and real than I could have ever imagined.  Being stripped of the ability to engage in the deeply meaningful work that I loved so much, to plan and control my schedule, to be more connected with family and friends, and to do so many other things that I loved, has been very painful.  Before being diagnosed with cancer, I was blessed with incredible physical health and stamina.  I worked for years with barely a cold or flu, and was so blessed to be able to help and support so many others on their cancer journeys and to be a source of love, comfort, compassion, and support for them and their families.  It’s not that I was ever immune to great personal suffering and loss in my life; like so many of us, I experienced a great deal of pain, loss, and heartbreak.  But I was also very fortunate to have a powerful and inspiring vision and purpose for my life, and a profound spiritual path, all of which I followed with my whole heart and soul.  So much of my life, and my identity, was as a “doer” and “helper.”  The cancer journey has forced me into the underworld of human existence: where pain, suffering, sadness, loss, vulnerability, uncertainty — and the need to be open to surrender, and receive — reside.  Now, I so much more intimately know and understand what countless people throughout the world are experiencing deep on the inside when their health and the illusion of control have been stripped way.  As painful as this process has been for me, the deeper compassion, understanding and connection with these more difficult dimensions of life has been a profound gift.

There is so much more that I can and want to share about all this, but I will finish for today with two final thoughts.

First, many of you have shared with me the pain of feeling at a loss about how to help me more as I traverse this rocky terrain.  I understand, and wish there was more as well!  I will reach out when something I see something tangible you can do.

In the meantime, however, please know that your thoughts, prayers, and expressions of love and caring are profoundly healing and meaningful in and of themselves, and mean the world to me. The comments you have shared on this blog in particular have been and continue to be a great comfort for my heart and soul.  They help me to feel more connected, which was one of my intentions in creating the blog.  So, it is working its magic.  Thank you for taking the time to sure in this way, and please continue to stay in touch as you feel called and inspired.  It is a great gift.

Wishing you all a joyous and wonderful day of Thanksgiving …

12 thoughts on “Nov 27, 2014: Intracranial Radiation Done

  1. Uma Simon

    Dear Kabir: Thank you for your feelings and thoughts. What a journey you are on. It also reminds me of when people asked me if I thought Ma would cure me. I said no, “But she would help me die.” And I didn’t mean physically die either. I knew this was the only thing I would have some control over; I could still learn what I needed to be and the cancer for me hurried it along in some way.

    I thought I would get two gifts out of cancer; I kept on looking for the flower under the poop. I thought I would become more compassionate and I was during the chemo part; I also thought I was at last free of my food addiction. Neither was to be true after the chemo wore off. The gift I did get was to stop doing whatever it was that kept me from being connected to people in some way. I stopped reacting so much to whatever they said. Cancer for me gave me the gift of letting go; all I had to do was survive; I didn’t have to do anything anymore; I could just be, and that made me happy during that time. I guess that’s what i’m trying to say. All my life I thought I had to do things; and then because I had no choice, I found I could just be and it was enough.

    Love you lots. Thanks for your emails; I am grateful for them. Uma

    Reply
    1. Diana Tripp

      Dearest Kabir,

      I found myself quite shocked at our Thanksgiving gathering because I had been somewhat out of the loop and didn’t know the extent of your illness. It came as quite a surprise to hear of your continuing challenges. I have asked to be part of this site so that I can keep up on your news and to continue to send you my deepest love and compassion.

      I’m happy to be able to be more present in your process as it moves forward and to hear of your journey into Truth. You and Christine have touched my heart deeply and I certain send you both my wishes for full recovery and a sense of well-being. Sending you my deepest love and prayers. I’m honored to know you and to learn of your strength and courage in meeting this challenge.

      Love always,
      Diana

      Reply
  2. Parvati

    Cancer is like the ultimate permission not only to BE, but also to be exactly who you are, torpedos be damned. The gift that keeps on giving…

    Reply
  3. Kathryn

    OH! Jeremy,
    What an incredible spirit you posses. How I love you . You are the face of God to me my friend Although my Cancer journey was one to be healed, I am grateful for it, because of it, I was given the gift of you in my life and for that I will always be eternally grateful. Sisters continue praying for you daily as do I. Many blessings and much love, dear one.
    Kathryn

    Reply
  4. Amara Geffen

    Dearast brother and friends….there is indeed MAGIC in all of this. What an honor to witness it all as we all pray for the miracle that seems to be unfolding. Your journey, your wisdom, your compassion are manifest in this blog. I sense how important it is for you to write and share and be connected …. and gather strength and clarity from the process of writing and reaching out.. I treasure you so much and Kristina who has been beside you through all of this; who I see as a sister! I pray that the positive results continue and you are able to transform and heal and write your next book on YOUR journey through cancer. Without a doubt, you are richly blessed by so many who love you deeply, and who you too love. We are all behind you…..Thank you for your writing and your fight to survive. Your sister – your survival ally….Amara

    Reply
  5. Roger Nichols

    Jeremy,

    The most beautiful blog ever!
    You have a special gift in your ability and willingness to share your journey with those who love you so. Thank you for giving us your love…

    Reply
  6. Carole Abrahams

    I am holding you in my heart’s embrace with deep love and respect.
    Hope you are playing your guitar and singing on your better days or listening to songs that touch your soul.
    Huge Hugs.

    Reply
  7. Reuvain

    My Brother,
    I’m continue to be moved by your journey. Thank you for your deep work to show up, and for the important insights that you share. I love and appreciate you Jeremy,
    Reuvain

    Reply
  8. Brandon Bays

    Just a heartfelt embrace kabir, sending huge love across the miles. Your words ring of such truth and humanity and I am loving being able to share you Journey with you–such a gift for all of us who love you . Hari Om dear heart
    Janaki ( brandon)

    Reply
  9. Mirabai

    Beloved brother, I wish you a peaceful journey inward during this inward-turning time of year. May the earth herself support your trajectory. The reflections you are sharing here are medicine for us all.

    Reply
  10. Diane Abbey Nunn

    Hello Dear Rame

    Your blogs are so from the heart. How I wish there had been such connections when my first husband was in his own battle with this debilitating disease. That was in 1976 – 1977 and so little was available to combat pain, and treatments were what I felt were primitive at best. There was so much rapid change and not much to be done. Thank you so much for sharing not only your medical perspectives but the very personal details which share your thoughts and feelings.

    Reading your thoughts I still “see and hear” the Rame I knew all those years ago. I am so thrilled that your journey to learn took you to other places and that you were open to knowing and adopting so many important perspectives regarding medicine, spirituality, and all aspects of complete living. My own primary care physician is originally from India/Nepal. I chose her because of this spiritual background which as an inherent part of her basic personality, combined with her mostly American based medical training make her a very patient focused physician. We talk as well as discuss whatever medical concerns may be my challenge at the time.

    I am praying that the recent procedure performed a few days ago is giving to you the relief and progress it is meant to provide. What a journey you are experiencing and I hope so strongly that the well wishes combined with love that are coming to you are also helping.

    You are a very special presence on this Earth, Rame and you are more than fulfilling your own special mission.

    With much love, continuing prayers and support,

    Diane Abbey Nunn (Your Mrs. Abbey in your recent past)

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *