It may have worked with mom or dad, maybe even with a spouse but it doesn’t work with cancer.Bargaining is what I am talking about. None the less many people improve their behavior just in case an almighty power might reward them with healing grace in exchange. No Rabi, priest or pastor I have spoken with believes that is part of any divine equation, just a dragonish delusion to distract you from reality. Improving your behavior can improve relationships and save your marriage but it won’t save your life unless it involves quitting smoking or meth.
Bell Lap Blog
Cancer's Bell Lap Blogs are secular and practical guidance. For opportunities of a spiritual journey in a life with cancer, see the Cancers' Windrunners Blog.
Thoughts about what you are losing are unavoidable (and normal); denial is no escape. Grief will always have its way with you. It will come out one way or another, often at most inconvenient times. It is a spoiler and unless you deal with it, every day will be in peril, like driving on bald tires — spin out can be around any corner. Get help. What you still have is too valuable to waste. Dredge up every feeling from that dark hole where they hide, bring them into the light, discover them completely, embrace them and deal with them.
"Last night I had a nightmare," a mother of three in tennis shoes and a gym outfit told me. "I don't remember all of it. I just remember that I had fallen over a cliff and in mid fall I had caught hold of a branch. I was hanging on for dear life wrestling in my head with different voices: some saying hang on and others pleading, ‛Just let go’. I woke up still fighting with that question and realized it was all about my cancer. Should I fight or should I give up?"
There's nothing wrong with wanting more life, but needing it is something quite different. It is the difference between being a free human being and being an addict. The Wanters saver a slice of life every day without the fear that it will be their last, whereas the Needers are so busy fearing there won’t be enough days to even enjoy what days they still have. Not enough is the welcome sign that invites the Dragon in and gives it the power to consume their thoughts with angst and manipulate their behavior.
Cancer actually can help in the universal human plight of dealing with fear by bringing many out in the open where they can be confronted and dealt with - but some stealthy ones will still remain. Most people have to drill down to see where fears have invaded the different arenas of their lives. Many people have been protected by a veneer of the good life, status, possessions or health such that they have been able to overlook the taunting of the Dragon or compensate for the wounds it inflicts. Fear is only something they read about or see in others; it is not real to them.