Thoughts and Bodies

This is my first time posting for Stream of Consciousness Saturday.  It freaked me out to even try it because I think some of my best work has happened on drafts four or five or ten.  However, I have found that whatever I wrote down in the beginning, basically what came directly from my consciousness always made the cut.  The stories that have truly come from that place have taken the least amount of editing and show up on my blog rather quickly as compared to the ones where I edit and edit and finally just post the damn thing so I won’t change anything else.

I knew it would be hard not to edit anything.  There were several times I had to literally stop myself from automatically going to the backspace key.  There are parts of this I wish I could edit, but I hope it came across.  I think this is a good exercise for me and I will continue to do it, no matter how uncomfortable.

This went in a direction I wasn’t expecting.  Probably had a lot to do with the phone call, but these are my thoughts on the word “body”.

**

My boyfriend has been known to say that this form is fleeting, we never know when we will go.  It could be today, tomorrow or years from now.  He also talks a lot about how your body can turn on you in the blink of an eye.  I woke up this morning to a call from my sister telling me her Mother-in-law passed away during the night from a heart attack.  The saddest thing about it was that everyone had gone home from the hospital because she was doing great, or at least better than expected.  She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer not too long ago.  She underwent chemotherapy and they just did surgery to remove the tumors a few days ago.  The nurses said she was laughing and joking one minute and fell asleep and had a heart attack the next.  I don’t know if it actually happened that fast, but it is crazy how quickly it can happen.

The internal workings of our body are a mystery.  I’m not a science-y person and don’t claim to have insight that others haven’t already thought of, but I’ve been thinking a lot on bodies lately.  I don’t think they exist separately from whatever animates them.  My sister said that her Mother-in-law couldn’t have planned it better if she had tried.  She was one of those people who didn’t want to burden anyone when she could do it herself.  I don’t think anyone plans their death necessarily, except suicides of course, but maybe the way we think, how our thought process works has more to do with it than we realize.

I have another sister who was diagnosed with cancer almost two years ago.  My first thought was that she wasn’t going to make it, not because cancer isn’t beatable or that… well, it sounds sad and perhaps mean for me to think, but I wasn’t sure she had the will to live; the will to fight for her life.  She’s still with us today cancer free and I’m in awe.  She didn’t fight as hard as I’ve seen some fight, but she made it.  I can’t even begin to imagine what she has been through; what anyone goes through who is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, so I’m not here to say she did it right or wrong or that there is a right or a wrong way to beat cancer.  I just know she did and she is a survivor among many.

It makes me wonder how I would deal with being diagnosed with cancer.  A part of me has thought that I would not want to put my body through chemo.  It seems almost worse than the actual disease.  I mentioned as much to my sister and she was pissed.  She basically said I was selfish not to fight for life, no matter what it took.  I have since realized that she is right.  I don’t know how I could think about fighting my way through being attacked or the thought that I would rather die than get raped or watch someone I love go through that when I could fight to the death and not want to fight my way through something like cancer.

While bodies remain an almost mystery to me, I am convinced that our thoughts have much to do with and are an integral part of how our bodies work and process through disease and illness.

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7 thoughts on “Thoughts and Bodies

  1. I think the decision to have or not have chemo or any form of radical medical intervention is a personal choice and shouldn’t be moralized. It depends on an individual’s beliefs and values. I had a friend who took himself off a heart transplant list because he decided he’d rather make use of the time he had left by doing things that mattered to him instead of waiting around a hospital on the hope he might (or might not) get a heart in time, It’s not just a black and white question of “fight” or “don’t fight.”

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    • I agree with you. Not much in life is black and white and that particular decision would depend on many things in order to make it. I probably would have edited or added more if not for the type of post it is. Thank you for commenting. 🙂

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  2. I agree with you that our bodies don’t “exist separately from whatever animates them” and “our thoughts have much to do with and are an integral part of how our bodies work and process through disease and illness.” Well-said, and important to keep in mind during difficult times. Thank you — and welcome to SOCS! I’m relatively new to it myself, having only done it for the third time this weekend, so I know what you mean about having felt nervous to try it!

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  3. I’m absolutely convinced that our state of mind has much to do with how well we do through illness – and even through health. Our minds have just as much ability to make our bodies tired when we’re stressed. Before I even read what kind of a person your sister’s mother-in-law was, I thought to myself, they all went home because she wanted to think she was doing okay. Strange, eh? It’s only because I can relate.
    Thanks so much for taking the plunge into SoCS, Helen! I do appreciate how hard it is for some of the people who publish unedited with us – you’re not alone. 🙂 I look forward to your continued contributions! 😀

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    • Thank you for the opportunity! I honestly didn’t know what I was going to write when I started my blog but finding treasures like SoCS has been worth it.
      I wasn’t sure after finishing this post if my point had come across, but it seems it has. Thoughts are so very powerful, more than we realize I dare say.
      Thank you, again, for reading my post and for your heart-felt comment. 🙂

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  4. Pingback: A New Record! | lindaghill

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