in-between time

I’m still flushed (and hyped and tired at the same time) from the chemo/steroid on Monday, but hoping that this was my last treatment of Kadcyla, and from here on out every day will get better. I’ll see the doctor next week for the final word. I’m looking forward to a chemo holiday. Who knows, my own immune system may kick back in and I’ll be “cured”. How will I know if I don’t try? With my blood numbers and scans looking good, it doesn’t make sense to me to continue to pour poison in every 3 weeks.

This is a strange disease. Three years ago, when I was being rushed into surgery for removal of a golf ball sized brain tumor, I never imagined that I would live 3 more years. Now I’m beginning to understand that questions of time are fundamentally unknown to me and I should not be bothered with the questions or prognoses. I’m definitely a quality of life over quantity of life person, but even that seems to be the wrong way of looking at it.

Whenever I try to name the experience of living my dying, I get caught in a linear trap. As if this comes after that – or that comes after this. And that is not the way it is.

Living-dying feels like a chiseling. Fine tuning. Becoming. Walking down the aisle to be wed – an in-between experience which is in and of itself as significant as what is before and what comes after.

I’ve been a shy person most of my life, never knowing who I was or what I was to be. As if these things could be figured out, planned. Now I realize that my life is a believing, a following, a trusting. I’m getting used to this in-between place, and perhaps beginning to own my life for the first time.

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3 thoughts on “in-between time

  1. Beth I think your writing is so valuable and so good. I’m encouraging you not only to keep writing, but to think about publishing, just like Nouwen published his illness diaries and they contained so much that was valuable for all kinds of people. You wrote:

    “Living-dying feels like a chiseling. Fine tuning. Becoming. Walking down the aisle to be wed – an in-between experience which is in and of itself as significant as what is before and what comes after.” Once again, I have to tell you that this is also the way that I experience my faith. Somehow each moment can be an opening — and this is particularly so when we are in some way limited by circumstances — to the reality of God right here and now, and it gives us something. I have had this feeling about chiseling, particularly when I am about to leave one environment for a long period. There is a feeling as if there are things I still need to complete here, something is working out, as I think you put it elsewhere.

    We all know the caveat that we are all in the process of dying. In the past, it was very important for Christian spirituality to be very aware of this fact. Emptying as a spiritual process is all about the daily dying that St. Paul wrote about (1 Corinthians 15:31). It’s important for all of us and what you have to share goes right there. It just seems our very material outlook hustles us more and more into thinking there’s nothing of value there. But that is just the paradox of faith: there is everything of immense value there and it gives meaning to everything else.

    Liked by 1 person

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