Dreams and Reality

Last night I dreamt my cancer came back.

In the dream I walked through the dark hostel hallways peering into different rooms until I found James (the co-founder of Love Hope Strength). I shook him awake and told him “Dude, Luke is back.” He looked at me and drowsily assured me he had my back and then mumbled something about coloring his hair. I woke up terrified and confused.

I’ve had some strange dreams before, but never this particular one. I’ve thought about my cancer coming back of course, but never in my dreams has this particular possibility arisen.

So why now? Maybe because on this trek, cancer is so present. It’s on everyone’s minds, it’s why we’re here, it’s responsible for all this. This cause, this trek, this music, these people – all of it has come to be because of cancer. You can’t be here and not think about the big C, so it’s natural that it might arise as a topic in one’s dreams.

But it got me thinking, for some of us this trek is more than just a creative fundraiser or never ending music video. For some of us, every step is a reminder of our disease, our treatment and our recovery – whether we want to be reminded or not. So why are we here? We’re not here for the fame or the glory. The cameras aren’t on us, we’re not famous recording artists or climbers, and surely having beaten cancer we don’t have anything to prove. Yes, there is a good cause to support – one my fellow survivors on this trek understand more than anyone, but perhaps there is something more.

At some point I believe, every cancer survivor makes a decision, conscious or otherwise, to move on, to let go, to say goodbye to cancer and leave behind the identity or label of “survivor” and just get on living.

But letting go of cancer is hard. I know. It may in some ways even be harder than beating it.

In the fight you are completely engaged with your whole being, on auto-pilot with a godly determination and belief that this thing will not beat you. Once you realize it hasn’t, things can sometimes get difficult. Who are you now? What does beating cancer really mean? How will you deal with the scars physical or emotional? Why did you make it when so many others did not? How do you know it’s really gone?

Most cancer survivors don’t become famous for it. They don’t star in movies or music videos, they don’t write books, they don’t get medals or awards. Most survivors simply take the little bit of enlightenment that comes with surviving and carry on.

And so here in the mountains surrounded by constant reminders of this disease it’s worth observing that we are also surrounded by much love and support – and powerful, peaceful Himalayan energy. Maybe this is a perfect place to say goodbye. It wont be easy, but with so much love, hope and strength in the air, I can’t help but try.

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One Response to “Dreams and Reality”

  1. Abram Says:

    Susan wants to say she is inspired by your courage, Eran — absolutely inspired. I am so proud of you and the work you have done, and the exquisite expression you have shared in your thought process. We love you very much, and wish the group our congratulations on an inspiring journey that will continue.

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