404 I Don’t Know… Being Comfortable in Uncertainty | Stephen Garrett

I Don’t Know… Being Comfortable in Uncertainty

I would love to know for sure what is going on with my brother Peter’s ‘recovery’ – and there is no way I can! This is the big rub as far as I can see for all of us who are facing the potential loss of a loved one. Never mind the balance between objectivity and subjectivity, forget hope or denial, sit in not knowing for a while and see how comfortable that is. It is damn difficult!

Here is what I mean by not knowing.

I have an inbound text from Peter – what’s the news?

As I hang up the telephone after a chat with Peter I ask myself was that my last call with him?

Will Peter still be alive when I get back from Singapore

Should I go to visit Peter – now?

I get a text that reads like this:

“Have not heard from any of the Vancouver doctors since I left. My Whitehorse doctor (the amazing Sally) let me know recently that my LDH levels, among other things an indicator of cancer growth, have increased significantly over the past month. “

Or this:

“So I just had my scheduled phone consult with my Thrombosis doctor, she is the best of the lot in Vancouver. She is concerned about the pain and will likely get me to Vancouver for tests this month. Will let you know when I hear back.”

It is all good information and I am happy Peter is keeping me in the loop. I am not complaining about the information.  However, I am noticing in me the uncertainty that I create with the news and thus the questions above are more like a sledgehammer bashing me into my un-comfort zone.

For me it is learning to be with the not-knowing and with the reality that the answer to my question, “Was that my last call with Peter?” could be…

“Yes.”

What I am learning through this walk with Peter is that it is wise to make every call the best call I ever had with him just in case.

‘Cause I really don’t know if it is or if it isn’t and that is damn uncomfortable to live with.

Warmly and with gratitude

Stephen

 

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