Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Given the opportunity to receive an organ transplant is half of the equation. The entire time while researching the possibility I was making myself very aware of what I was getting into. Time was of the essence but I had to look into many important aspects of the path I wanted to undertake. First of all, facing my own mortality was something that would change my views, constantly, although, I have to say I was never afraid to die I did think about it quite often. This subject was particularly hard to talk about with Heather; it broke my heart everytime and I would fall deeper in love with her. While doing a hypnotherapy session my teacher asked me that question and I explained to her that it was difficult for me to be afraid about death simply because I had not experienced it and that, when the time came, I would just move onto it as another chapter in my life or a time to travel as the Mayans would have considered.
To be honest, basically my brain could not register something that I had not experienced. I know you may think, well Rowan, you are crazy, you can't experience death; once you're gone you're gone. True and that's a fact, the point is that I was very much alive; I love my life and I wanted to keep on living so even thou I thought about death often some how I just new inside my time to move to that level was not to arrive yet; at least not now or until I had finished what I set out to do with my life. Living my dreams and on the way try to enable at anytime possible other people's dreams. Specially those of who I immensely love most; my family.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I was not afraid of death myself but the reason why I thought about it so much was because of the things I would not had been able to do if I would die. It killed me to think I would not be able to see my daughter Kaya grow in to a beautiful woman and see her become her own person and see her living her dreams. It totally pissed me off to think about would I be death not to be able to enjoy the rest of my life with the most wonderful woman I had ever known. Heather and I have been married for 15 years. Our life have been so rich and we have had so many adventures and gone through so many things together,she is my best friend. At times I felt if that were to happen it was like I had been cheated. I thought of how we had built this amazing place in our hearts for each other and now what: I'm about to bolt......No way man; Heather to me had become more beautiful than ever, she is my soul mate and to add to the equation she's become so hot ( I have to say this is very important in a relationship; and she's all that) as the years have passed by again....no way Jose; I'm not ready to check out. I said to myself; dude dying its not an option here.
The second thing on my list was the complexity of the surgery. This was as incredible as it was scary but beyond that was Third; the wave of changes I would have to adjust my life to. The amounts of drugs I will have to be under for the rest of my life didn't come without a price; the side effects list was long overwhelming and at times certain. Loosing hair, tremors, swing modes, loosing a bit of sight but the big "C" (Cancer) pose the biggest treat; I mean I have already been dealing with Scleroderma; my autoimmune condition for 6 years and look where it had got me to. I could not possibly get a grip that if I could fix the problem I was in by going through the transplant that could put me be back at the beginning of another race for my life yet again. All in all after I would do the math, there was no a single excuse in my mind not to take my chances. It was all worth it; I wanted to live and the feeling of leaving this wonderful place I was in didn't set in my brain as a choice however; taking the risks did.
I read a couple books while I was getting worse by the weeks but one that really got my attention was Terry McBride's "The Hell I Can't"; the book was given to me by my dear friend Morita who herself was a believer that one can enable yourself to cure oneself. Terry's story was compelling and gripping, although different than my experience we shared a common ground. Our spirits and willingness(called stubbornness) would have so much to do with our drive and passion for life that it will serve us as the greatest vehicle for self discovery, curiosity and most importantly enabling us to create the conduit needed to move into and under take the biggest obstacles we were faced with. Regaining control of our bodies, mind and finding the tools to accomplish the ultimate goal. Contributing to the healing process; yourself. I had chose a completely western approach to under take my situation but I also new that that was only half of the ticket; I need it to play a roll within; be involved in the process and so I went on a quest to find my new "Frame of Mind".
Meditation, Affirmation, I started doing art, I started a blog to open myself to anyone that would read my notes, I had my friend Tyler come in once a week and fly me with Acro Yoga, massage to help my blood circulation and we would also do energy work; most importantly I never gave myself a break regardless that my capabilities were getting cut short. Mobility was very important to me and so I kept myself as active as I could rather than feeling down I went on a trip to finding beauty in everything, in every action and cultured the value of being at the moment. Then I started to focus on how soon I wanted this to happen; I new I had limited time and my body was working hard. I have had the chance to know how it felt to be fit and I new what being strong felt like. My body was going down but my mind had all this knowledge and even thou physically I could not perform the neurons in my brain that were designated for those tasks were still shouting commands at me. Rowan; you are on your way stay focus and visualize everything materializing in front of your eyes; I would say this to myself everyday and especially during those 7 weeks before my transplant. Things came to reality so suddenly I'm still processing the levels of complexity that has taken to come to this side of the road from where I was. At times when trying to explain this to people still seems very surreal or like it never happen. but I know where I was and where I'm now, my life has taken me to some amazing roller coasters but my new "Frame of Mind" has empower me beyond my wildest dreams. Life is so beautiful and when your mind has the capacity to soak it all in and you are ready to surrender you can realize that dreams do come true. You have to put your mind into it.
Please come back and check: Catching my Breath: Part- 4 Ready-Set-Go
Monday, December 8, 2008
Dear Love Ones,
Words can not convey a feeling when as powerful as the one I'm currently experiencing. All through out this journey I have been able to touch so many lives as well as the lives that have come to touch mine alike. My journey has been an incredible vehicle for awareness of goodness in this amazing community I'm so honor to be part of. From day one people came from so many places and with so much support it is just incredible to say the least.
The two main fundraiser; The full lung Capacity Comp at Iron Works(The Melvin Gang, you guys are amazing) and the Recycle Life Fundraiser at Pizzaiolo (Charlie everything you touch , you make it good) could not have been better in fact there were egregious and of course they could not have come to reality thanks to the high energy and amazing work of such an incredible committee, you guys rock the house in truly ruckus fashion!
So many people to mane it will be almost unfair just to list a bunch here, you know who you are. From family and friends to people who just happen to come across my blog and became involved just because this journey touch a note they could not disregard; may all our life's keep on rising.
Four key people I want to acknowledge because I really tested their strength to the full extend of human capacity are, my wife Heather to whom I'm for ever grateful to have been sharing my life for the past 15 years and now the endless possibilities that await us. You truly held it together to the core, your man is back so lean on me. I love you so much. My daughter Kaya whose energy, witty personality and love inspired me everyday, Heather we made a good one. My brother Juan Jose who team up with me from day one to bring me back to self and while living in SF played a major roll in my early recovery after surgery. We walked miles and miles and listen to a lot NPR, I love you negrito. Last but not least my dear and best friend Chris Bloch who so unconditionally gave everything he had to give in every spectrum to see me rise.Yo Chris; you're a rock star, you have brought so much happiness to my life and family, we wish to be able to be there for you for the rest of our lives; you are one of us and we love you so much. You are my Dagw; we made it man!!
It is hard to keep it simple when something of this magnitude takes place in someones life; so I will cut this now because I want to keep writing in the year to come and I know there will be so much more to share. I will after next week continue posting where I left regarding my trip to UCSF and all in details for you to revive that with me; so come back after Dec 15Th for another chapter of Catching My Breath! It only get better and better.
Much Love, Rowan