Two years after prostate cancer surgery, I feel like I’m always dealing with the health demands of keeping my life together. Separately, there is progress on several fronts: dietfitness, cancer and urine control, Sexual Job, relationship coping, mental and emotional health. But when taken completely, it feels like it can’t be tolerated. Deep down I feel shaky and uncertain. Trying to stabilize myself looks like this short video of underwater roots:
Shaking Roots: Trying to Find the Earth
Source: Mich Middleman
A few weeks ago, I fantasized about making another allegorical video. But I’m not quite up to the task, so here’s the text. Please use your imagination:
Video Scenario – The second year after prostate cancer
Long shot of a man in his sixties, standing in a swimsuit on the beach. From afar it looks decent and comfortable. As the camera zooms in, you see him holding a transparent plastic bag filled with water sparkling in the sun.
Zoom in and you can see water leaking from a hole in the side of the bag. The man changes his fist to cover that hole. But then another leak appeared from the other side. there is a sound Laughter From a spectator in the background.
He fiddles with his fist, but the water keeps flowing somewhere. Sunlight reflected off the wet spots on his legs from the drops that had fallen. Its clutches become more and more difficult as new bits of bag keep leaking. This water is clearly important to him, and he gets excited when it drains into the ground.
He continues to wrestle, but the sack is now half empty. The water continues to leak. The sun is still shining.
The dilemma of manipulating health demands
Putting them all together is like holding a water bag with a few leaks – you clog one hole only to find it leaking elsewhere. It’s not literally (for me at least) like simply leaking urine. But parts of my old life and desires are metaphorically leaking out. My attempts to put it all together seem hopeful and desperate at the same time. One survivor compared it to a game snakes and ladders. Here’s how I deal with the health demands after cancer.
It takes constant vigilance to manage all the muscles to contain the urine – and to let it pass when the time is right. Then get rid of the desire to have an erection again, and add the issue of preventing urine from erupting during sexual arousal. Moreover, there is the prevention of cancer. It includes healthy living, fitness and exercise. Every day, every meal. Maintaining positivity is key. For me, that includes being active in the world and making a difference. This in turn needs me to put all the controls of my urine, health, fitness and sexual conditioning behind me and focus on the outside.
move towards balance
So much to do! Sounds like a call to action. Get a grip and try hard! But then I remember that I still have to keep it realizingCalm and earth. Perhaps the biggest learning experience from cancer is that working hard is not going to save me.
All in all, I find it difficult to balance acceptance and action. Sometimes it seems that metaphorical water just isn’t inside a leaky bag. I can feel there is enough water to rise above my head and submerge me.
What I believe is that all of these aspects of life and living are the water we swim in. Sorcery is actually like the air we breathe. The gift cancer gives me, and which I can sometimes receive, is that I can swim in an ocean of chaos and breathe the winds of change. I can’t control everything.
I can’t get a perfect balance, but I can be with it. The weakness I feel is annoying but appropriate.
This post also appears in Reading man dot net With additional personal and medical backgrounds.