When small things go wrong…

Peripherally inserted central catheter

The district nurses came today to flush my PICC (an implanted catheter through which my chemo and other medications and fluids are given and blood taken), but couldn’t get a flush through one of the lumens. This led to me having a trip down to Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre to get it attended to. In the end, it turned out not to be blocked, just needed a bit of extra courage to get the fluid through. I can’t blame the district nurse – they don’t deal with these things all the time, but the necessity to go down did disrupt my day – I was going to have a pleasant time meeting with one of the priests from my parish church, and it ended up not happening, added to which there was a miscommunication, so he still came to meet with me. Which peeves us all!

However, the point is… when small things go wrong there is a tendency for them to create long shadows in the day. Something happens, it makes us cross, tetchy, tense, resentful or just plain cold. And that can easily spread into everything else. The reality, of course, is that the small thing is just that – small. I try to remember that, and not to let it creep into everything else. Otherwise it can be like a seed that grows weeds and spoils the field. Letting the peace of my times of meditation and prayer come into the small annoying things is very helpful. Tapping back into that deep wellspring of peace is very powerful and liberation, for you begin to see what is real and what is illusion. So much of what seems real in our lives is illusion, and we become so invested in it, to our cost – as I know from bitter experience. In the end you have to make choices about what is important and what isn’t, and coming back to be in reality seems to me the only really viable choice to make.

Reading: Full Catastrophe Living (Jon Kabat-Zinn) and Remembrance of Things Past (Marcel Proust)

Listening to: Oleta Adams

Watching: Nothing… haven’t looked at the idiot box today

Eating: Peach and apricot porridge for breakfast, salad roll for lunch, and zucchini and bacon soup for dinner

Thinking about: Having a good sleep tonight, now that I’ve finished my most recent course of dexamethasone

Looking forward to: The return of Doctor Who this Saturday in the UK (which program will mysteriously find its way onto my computer via the wonders of technology!)


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