For the followers who know and those who don’t, I have a rare but treatable form of cancer. I was diagnosed late January with a cancer of parotide gland and I’ve been undergoing treatments for the past 4 months. There have been ups and downs obviously with my health. I’ve a very aggressive cancer which responds well to treatment but also gives me a plethora of complications: a clot near the insertion of the picc-line which leads me to get injections in the belly everyday to thin my blood. Needless to say my stomach is bruised beyond recognition. Then my white cell count lowered to .97 which also gave me injections to boost my immune system. I got terribly ill on those injections. I spent 6 days bedridden, barely eating or drinking, vomitting, feeling nauseous and waiting for it all to end.
As a Kadampa, I try using adversities into the path but I’ll admit that my delusions are sometimes stronger than my mind. I’m getting quite good at patience and reminding myself that I am not body and my body is not me but sometimes… I just can’t. It seems alot easier to develop compassion when I’m at the hospital and I see all these patients who are in far worse condition than me. When I’m at home, it’s long and tedious and I’ve way too much time to think. I tried keeping up my with my daily practice (Wishfulfilling Jewel), sometimes it’s ok and it feeds my mind with peace and other times, I can’t do it nor listen to it. My resident teacher hasn’t been able to drop by for a while and I have been unable to go to my Centre except for Dorje Shugden’s Empowerment in March. I miss my sangha and I miss the Centre. Sure, I’ve a shrine and all but it’s not the same thing as going to a Pure Land and standing in front of all the Buddhas and basking in their blessings. I often stare at the picture of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso on my nightstand before falling asleep and imagine that my head is resting on his lap and in full abandonment, I let him heal my physical body and my mind.
Otherwise, it’s a long process where I don’t ncessarily see the end of it. I can’t plan anything ahead nor can I foresee anything happening for me other than going through chemo and radiotherapy. I’m a pretty good and compliant patient. I do everything I’m told. Have there been any signs of improvement? Sure, the tumor has significantly reduced but it’s just so unstable that it seems to adapt itself to an already rough treatment. I can’t wait (but I’m also terrified) of starting radiotherapy - which should start by the end of the month. I’m told the ‘worse’ is to come. Radiotherapy + chemotherapy is apparently a tough combination on the body. Six weeks I’m supposed to get… and then hopefully, the tumor will be gone and I should be in ‘remission’. I’m using quotation mark because I don’t know… the tumor seems so unstable… My case hasn’t been an easy one with all its complications… All this ‘wait and see’ can drive anyone crazy. Thank Buddha, I’ve dharma…