Living with Uncertainty

Posted: October 19, 2016 in Inner Journey, Thoughts on Life
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fall.jpgAlmost 4 years ago I sat in a doctors office, bouncing my baby daughter upon my knee, whilst a medical professional told me I had breast cancer. She looked at me with a sadness and confusion that almost annoyed me as I desperately tried to calm my fussy baby. In that moment, I was more interested in calming my daughter than facing the concern of the stranger in a white coat who patted my arm and asked me “Do you understand what I am trying to tell you? This is bad news.”

Yes, I told her. Yes, I understand. I whipped out the offending breast and popped a nipple in my daughters mouth. I looked at the curvaceous white flesh that provided my baby with life giving nutrients and wondered whether the same breast would take my life. Yes, I understand. But in the way of human nature, I clung to the little piece of hope hidden within the box of bad news – more tests meant uncertainty. I could live with uncertainty.

Nine months of tests, scans, biopsies, meetings with oncologists, and lots and lots of Reiki followed that day, and then I found myself sat in a different office with a different person in a familiar white coat who said “The last biopsies were negative. We think you were misdiagnosed. But just to be safe, we are going to keep you coming in for regular diagnostic imaging, to keep an eye on it. Any changes, we will go ahead with the lumpectomy. Do you understand?”

Yes, yes I understand. I sent up a silent prayer of thanks to every single healer who had worked with me. I would still be living with uncertainty for two more years before the white coats deemed me healthy enough that regular poking, prodding and picture taking was no longer necessary. I would have to learn to live with that uncertainty, learn to breathe a little easier as each day passed.

I did breathe a huge sigh of relief when they finally removed me from the dreaded Cancer List. I was no longer a name called in radiography waiting rooms. I no longer had to fear losing a breast I was rather fond of, or being so sick I could not care for my children. Or not being here at all. I no longer had to be the strong one supporting everyone else who feared the consequences of cancer. I finally told my family – I was misdiagnosed with cancer, but everything is ok now. No worries. 

I recently found another breast lump. Hit the big red panic button, sound the alarm. Ding, ding, round two.

Once again, I found myself living with uncertainty. Did I or did I not have cancer? Did they misdiagnose me, or were they right the first time? Would I have to go through the same process as before? So many questions, none of which come to mind when you stare at a white coat to avoid eye contact. Avoiding the truth, sympathy, and exhaustion in anothers eyes. So off I go, on my second rollercoaster of scans and tests.

Living with uncertainty can be exhausting, anxiety inducing, terrifying. But this time it occured to me that we are ALL living with uncertainty. My field of vision was narrowed and my mind focused on one subject, but when I took my blinkers off I could see that every person lives with uncertainty every day, every minute of their lives. None of us truly know what will happen, everything is in a state of flux. The only thing we truly know, is that we don’t know everything.

Whenever you face a challenging time in your life, when the outcome in unclear to you, when your fear seems overwhelming, remember that you have a 100% success rate on living with uncertainty. You can, and do, face the world everyday without knowing what will happen to you or to your loved ones, in big or small ways. We simply cannot fathom the cause and effect of every choice we make, nor can we afford the emotional, mental and spiritual energy to worry about what may or may not happen after this moment. All we truly have is right now, right here, this moment. It is filled with uncertainty and filled with potential, just like the moment before and the moment to follow.

Be comfortable with uncertainty, for it offers us the blank canvas we paint our lives upon. Learn to live with not-knowing. Become the uncertainty, filled with the potential of what may be.

In light and love and hope,

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  1. […] she’s blogged here about the last four years of uncertainty and living with the possibility of cancer – […]


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