A healer that I have the utmost admiration of and confidence in will be working with me through this process in our own way. Though we are separated by the many miles between Georgia and Sweden, this will not change the potency of such a healing.
For many years I have wanted to travel to meet with him but life always came in the way. Now, at this hour of real life and not the trite expression, he is there for me as I know one would. There is a third person involved in this as well, and the experience for that person will be a unique and possibly life changing.
LIFE is good
All of it, that which is in all of us, which binds us and holds us.
Have a great day everybody, and always look to the bright side of the road.
I received a call the VA in Augusta today, that is where all the GI stuff was being done. They wanted to let me know that they had completed the mountain of paperwork they needed to get together, including an exhaustive report from my GI Doc., and and sent it up the chain to go to the transplant people in Nashville.
One thing to keep in mind with the dates below, due to travelling to Chicago for Christmas, and regardless Christmas itself impact on the overall time of year as it pertains to scheduling, that the process will start the week of the 1st of January.
I will have more things done here before the officially getting on the list.
1 - All tests that remain to be done that they can perform. This would be either blood samples of scans. I have give about 30 tubes of blood in the past month, so they are good there, but any other test that is more than five months old (none are) or that have not been done will be in either Athens or August in the next three weeks.
2 - Mental health evaluation - Done, I am in indeed nuts. Naw, I passed.
3 - Social Worker evaluation - Do people love me, can people help me in recovery, do I have a home. All of that. We will pass that one with flying colors.
The third one can still be pending to be on the list, so we just need the tests that remain so far as we know, and we have to wait to hear from Nashville know what they are.
The doctor that called said that it would move pretty quickly, and that has been my experience so far.
When we get to this point I will pretty much be in the care of Nashville. I will get be give a lot of documents to fill out (might get those earlier who knows) and then all the logistical considerations of getting there, etc., full rundown of what to expect as far as all aspects.
If things continue as they have we should be, by the second or third week of January, fully on board. Then I could get the call at any time.
Life is good, and thank you to all of you for keeping me in mind at this time of year when we have so many things going on in our day-to-day lives. It is nice to know that there is still room for me in there.
I love you all.
Good morning beautiful people,
Today, I will be get at least some information on the transition from Augusta (GI) to Nashville (transplant).
Here are more details on where we stand....
-- The tumor is about four centimeters at last sighting and of course growing.
-- It has picked up residence in a liver that was over 50% dead scar tissue brought on by the cirrhosis which was brought on by the, still main culprit, Hep C and an over the top rock and roll lifestyle that had a run of about 25 years. While the lifestyle is gone (the RR part has attached itself to my soul and well, it isn't leaving) the Hep C remained, but we did know this until the past six weeks or so.
The will not attempt to clear the Hep C due to the overall condition of the liver, but they will as part of the new liver, etc.
The fact that the tumor is in largely dead tissue is good since it could slow the growth. However, it still grows, and it could spread, and there is the continued assault of the Hep C.
So, it is a race between transplant and the various antagonists. That is why days like today are important. We need to get the ball rolling on the transplant side as the other side is doing its thing unimpeded.
At this point, my only really big concern (of course there are others, but I have to manage what I allow to bother me that I can not change, and that is very little) is after transplant. It will remove the cancer, and there is always the chance is spreads, we will deal with that should it happen. However, the high powered, very addictive, opiods that they will want me to take scare the crap out of me. I don't want in my life again, at all. I would choose the pain if it were pain that I could actually deal with, but I doubt I can manage that pain emotionally for a month or six weeks.
I really am at a loss for that part of the process. I once told myself that I would rather die than become an active drinker again. I don't want to die certainly, but I still believe what I said, and I know there is an answer for me out there. It may be illegal in my state, or nation, but that does not concern me. What concerns me is ever feeling a craving again, because that is the lowest pit in hell.
I received an email from the VA telling me that an appointment with the transplant folks is where we are at and that they should be calling any time. Being that they are in Nashville and that is about seven hours away, I am not sure how this is going to work. That said, the VA have been rock stars through all of this and have provided transportation, but that was to Augusta which is two hours away.
In other news, I was doing some "Love Talking", it's an old Celtic thing, this morning in which you look for the beauty in two things.
Beautiful is _____ because of blah blah blah, and beautiful too is _____ because of other blahs.
It was nice and uplifting as it always is, but I ended with one that just came out of nowhere. I had similar situation years ago when I thanked a life threatening condition due to my mismanagement of by physical body for waking me up to my folly.
Beautiful is life, for it fills our bodies with love and light that never truly fades away, and beautiful too is cancer, my teacher, for it makes me love life even more, and that is a good thing any day.
So, I, we, need to shift all to what is positive, what is beautiful. The question is not why do we fight, the question is, what is worth fighting for? Life is worth fighting for, and cancer is reminding me for that, and for that, I am grateful.
I have something I want to let you know, and it is encouraging. A few weeks ago, I was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer. In the time since I have been back and forth to the VA for tests. Yesterday was my final visit to the GI department. They are moving me(my case) today to the transplant department. This is the only medical way to defeat this, but that does not mean it is the only way ....
We don't have to accept what has not even happened as being necessarily what will happen. All that we can do is to remain who we are and to love each other in this moment. We have gotten away from that as a people, but that does not mean it cannot be again.
So, at this time of Yule or Christmas or Hanukka or Id al-Fitar or Winter Solstice or the Day of the Return of the Wandering Goddess, who I believe I have found, remember to not only love those around you but to let that light encompasses all as one.
When we do that, anything is possible.
As harvest season unfolds, it is a time to reel in that which we have gathered during a summer of plenty. Did we prepare? If not, can we assess the resources we have a proceed without remorse of what has been and potential problems in the future.
As one I have long listened intently to Ram Dass says, can we "be here now"? It is in that space between what was and what is going to be is our personal power. That is the real us--the decision maker. The one who waits and acts.
The last two years have been a struggle at times for me to keep alive the waiting to see the path to success in the recovery field. When I had my personal crisis years ago, I felt that if I could help at least one person find a way to a fulfilling life to include substance abuse, then I could settle a debt of sorts for having realized my own salvation.
I did that in time and have since done so with several other individuals. My own recovery was made easy when I embraced shamanism and began journeying for guidance. Over time, the two have become very intertwined, particularly in my "clinical" work at two practices in Athens. Still, I could tell early on that the setting was not right, and thus for the past year I have been looking for a new setting, gathering my resources, and waiting.
The wait is nearly over. I will pass along more information as the dates near, but it looks as if by November 1st I will have a new office in Athens and be partnered with people who share a similar view on alternate recovery methods and recovery in general.
This move will give me the space to hold free peer-support SMART Recovery circles, work with individual clients, and start introducing my shamanic approach to recovery through focused intent. More on that as they are offered.
On the Celtic and Nordic front, I am journeying on a celebration/ceremony gathering that will be offered somewhere in Athens depending on space availability. The shamanic journey circle I host at Heart Path Studios is probably going to be reduced to twice a month. I will be holding a Rune Circle at Heart Space in Athens in November.
If you are on Facebook, be sure to stop by my page to keep up with what I have going on if you are interested.
Have a great day!
I recently facilitated a journey circle in Athens at Heart Path Studios in which we set the intention for those in attendance to enter into the Shamanic state of consciousnesses and merge with the spirit of Horse and try to overtake a rider on the road. This rider would perhaps be someone the journeyers know or did not know, but she or he had something to tell.
The evening went very well, and all had great experiences. I went back and dug up what I jotted down the first time I did this same kind of journey, and here is what I experienced and my reaction:
Intention for Journey to the Man on a Horse
Imagine yourself in nature in rolling green hills. Imagine yourself as a horse as you walk, feel the muscles and heart as you start to trot, then gallop, and then run. Notice if any animal might appear for you along the way. Ahead you see a man on a horse. This person is someone is important to you, though you might not know them yet. When you catch up to him, ask him for any guidance he might have for you…..
With the intention set, I charged up a bit with a rattle then laid down with a loud drum track, and this is what I wrote down afterwards:
I was in rolling green hills, but they were not as bright as I had expected when preparing for the journey, instead they were darker shades of green. I felt the sensation of walking on all fours, then my chest muscles began to feel the impact of my long front legs as I began to trot the gallop. The choppiness gave way a feeling like swimming or flying as I gracefully passed over the land at a very high speed.
Suddenly, from my left, a man’s face appeared looking right at me. He had sharp features, and two or three feathers on either side of his face coming out of his cheekbones and extending just beyond his ears. His brow looked liked feathers as well, but just from one side of a quill. Where they met, just above the spot between his eyes and the top of his nose, was what looked like a sharp downturned triangular beak. The rest of his features were normal, but I could not see his body. He then turned quickly into an Owl and flew above me and started to circle the moon in what was now the night sky. Opposite the Owl, on the same trajectory, was a Raven. Then the scene was gone and I was again running in the green hills.
I spied what appeared a silhouette of a rider, but I could not be sure because there was a lot of undergrowth in that area. I galloped to that spot and came upon a man whose features were deep brown and weatherbeaten. He reminded me of an Aboriginal from Australia. He turned to look at me and was gone and where he was, but a few feet beyond, was a tall thin man with gray skin and wiry hair that looked like he was having a really bad static cling hair day.
He was naked, and kind of looked like ash. His eyes were a turbulent blue with a slight glow surrounding set in deep dark sockets. His appearance did not frighten me in any way. I felt very peaceful in his presence.
I asked him for advice or direction as I venture into this new land.
“Remain betwixt and between, one foot in both worlds, for if you come to this one too fast you will go mad, but if you stay in the other you will likewise go mad.”
He paused, his eyes got bigger, and I got the feeling he was trying to test my conviction because his look was very startled and stern at the same time. He then softened and said:
“Let this path unfold for you at its own pace, for one day soon you will remain here.”
I paused, and asked if there were any changes I could make in the world I come from that can provide the grace I will need do this work with honor and integrity.
“That is for you to determine, you know when you do the right thing, and in that resides your integrity. But one thing, never take nature for granted and give thanks for all that you receive from man or dog or tree or water (he went on for quite a while with these ‘or ____’), and protect all life always.”
I thanked him and asked if I could come back and see him again and he said yes. I then asked how I should find him.
“Go into the mist and call my name.”
I asked what his name was and he said Sam. I asked if I knew him somehow.
“Yes, I am one of your ancestors, and I have a lot to tell you.”
With that he faded backwards into mist, and for the first time I noticed I was no longer in a path, but a clearing, and all I could see around me was the mist.
I looked up to see the Owl descending and then hovered before me. I asked if it would like to come with me on this journey and it told me yes.
I then reared up on my back lets. My front hooves were scratching at the air and I got the feeling I was breaking through something. As my front hooves hit the ground I let out a huge breath through my nostrils and the wind blew away that before and I again saw the hills. I galloped back the way I had come with Owl flying by my side.
Arriving at a small stream, I resumed the form of a man. With one foot on dry land I launched to the other over the small stream and the moment my foot hit the ground on the far side I was upright over the stream and through the gate into my sacred garden. I turned and thanked the ancestors, the ...the spirits of the forest, and sat up.
The name Sam has long held a special place in my heart. As a young boy in a small rural country town, my best friend’s first name was Sam. We were inseparable, playing in the woods, running endlessly down the rows of corn that surrounded our town in fields lying between thick fingers of forest that followed the many streams. The black dirt of ...as always a welcome relief to our feet as we dashed from here to there without a care in the world. It all came to an end when I was whisked away to the big city to live with my mother. After moving, I rarely visited tiny ...and I never saw Sam again. The memory of him and the time we had as just kids is the last of a enchanted childhood in a wonderland of nature.
While I could probably come up with a reflection on every facet of this rather involved journey, I want to skip to what I think it all means. Like the Otherworld, Sam is a place that is neither here nor there, a place I can go, sort of, but not in a complete physical way, and certainly not back in time. Still, as the feathered man showed me, if I step outside of where I had been headed I may still find enchantment right now, and become like the Owl with its cunning, patience, watchful eye that is aware of much more than it may seem.
To do that, I must reach for that non-ordinary place while staying grounded in the ordinary place. The same goes for my approach to all of nature. I am not a part of nature, I am nature, so there is nothing else to do by see a symbiotic relationship in everything regardless of if I agree with it, or even find it can’t seem to find it pleasant to be around. I am no more important and anything, because I am everything. It is not possible, and to think so would only be a vain effort of hubris.
If I can live with the integrity this knowledge beacons, and that is what Sam, my ancestory and best friend, want me to do. The Owl and the Raven, circling in concert, each lifted by the tailwinds of the other, and one.
I will continue to facilitate experienced Shamanic journey groups on the first, second, and third Wednesday of every month at Heart Path Studios. If you would like to keep up with what the intentions will as well as other events that may be scheduled, visit our events page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/windandraven/events/
The last few weeks have presented a new set of considerations as Wind and Raven Recovery and Retrieval starts to make a footprint. For the past two years, I have worked in recovery support for individuals who had struggled with substances at the Recovery Cafe. Though this time, the Recovery Cafe has been the drug and alcohol conditions area of The Banyan Tree Center, but those days are coming to a close.
While the Recovery Cafe will carry on, the partnership with the Banyan Tree Center is ending. Why this is happened is not important, and it is simply the closing of chapter and the beginning of after. Though this transition, my clients will continue to see me at The Banyan Tree Center, but that too will change over the summer.
Regardless of what exactly the future holds one thing is for certain and that is that I will continue with the work of my clients.
Now for a bit of an announcement about a future offering that will not begin until a location is establish: I am going to work with people navigating recovery in a way that introduces them to Core Shamanism. This will be a series of sessions, probably five or six, in which several areas will be explored. I am currently putting together the structure of combining all that I can into this Spiritual healing.