Part 13: Where Are The Keys?
I had a dream on sunday night. It was vivid. It was so surreal that when I woke up, I actually thought it happened. I believe that dreams mean something, I will be honest with you, I believe that they are a message from someone, or something about what is going on in the past, present, and to some level, the future. This dream was unlike any other I have experienced. I could see things crystal clear, I could hear things as loud as a siren, I could feel things as smooth as velvet. I could even see people who have since passed away, but felt like I was standing next to them.
On the 15th of August 2000, my cousin who was the same age as I am now committed suicide. He is not technically my cousin, his family are very close family friends of mine, we are all considered cousins because of this. After he passed away, I used to dream about him. I was sad when he died, I really looked up to him, and then one day, he left me. I still remember the day it happened, it is funny because the dream I had was just like that day, weather wise that is. So many questions have been left un answered since he went away. Sometimes, I go and visit his grave, ask him, and his brother for advice, when I was diagnosed, I went there. No-one knows when I go there, because it is where I go to be alone.
When I am there it is quiet, usually nobody is around, and it is where I go to get the answers. I do not actually hear them speak, but I feel that my mind is clearer when I ask them. On the day the urologist told me the news, I went straight there, I got on my knees with my head in my hands and asked them what should I do? The first thing I asked them was "Can you give Mum strength? I can't see her cry anymore". For a long time I have gone to them, it helps me in some ways, deal with life in general. For a long time I have seen Both Ben, and his older brother Adam, whose life was also tragically cut short. I have seen Ben in my dreams plenty since he passed, but, on the sunday night when I saw him, it was one I will never forget.
My Mother told me once that she went to a clairvoyant several years ago, and he told her that Ben's older Brother Adam, who had died in a car accident when he was Eighteen was watching over my father. I believe that this is true, I do not know why, I just do. There is someone who has passed, who is watching over someone who is living all the time. There is a connection somewhere, that maybe I cannot see. All I know is that everything happens for a reason. Anyway, getting back to my dream.
I was in the woods, I had no idea where I was, and the lightning and rain was absolutely pelting down. The sky was black, and there was nothing around but thick scrub, and an old cabin. I could hear the introduction of my favourite song, only the introduction, like it was on repeat or something playing so loud that I thought I . I walked over to the cabin, which had nothing in it except a small fire burning in the middle of the room, and a safe, but no keys. I kept asking myself "where the fuck are the keys? I need to find the keys!" I looked at the fire as it struggled to stay alight, and looked back at the safe, walked over to it, got down on my knees and was trying to pry it open. There was something I had locked in there, but I could not open it, and I wanted it back.
The door of the cabin swung open, and between each flash of lightning I saw Ben standing at the door, with a grin on his face "you threw away the keys Josh" Is what he said to me as he walked over to me. I put my hand on his shoulder, and he was real, he was actually standing next to me, my dream was real, I could feel him, I could see him, he looked the same as the day I had to see him in a coffin. I asked him "Where are the keys, just tell me!" I was panicing, it was so cold, but I was on fire. He took my hand and looked down at the fire burning in the room "you can't hide them forever, when the fire is out, the keys will appear, and when you open the safe, the fire will burn again" I knew exactly what he was talking about, yet, I did not want to admit a thing.
"The feelings will overcome you, if you are not honest with yourself. It will take over you, and you will end up, well, you will end up like....." I stared in to his eyes and could see the pain and suffering "I can't do it, I don't want to" I started to tremble "? needs you" he whispered "? needs you more than ever" I sat down on the floor trying to put my hand in the fire brushing through the ashes, looking for the key "not like that, ? doesen't". For my own reasons, I would rather not say who '?' is, no one really needs to know.
He took a breathe in and gently blew the fire out "before too long, it will burn again Josh, and you will be where you were twelve months ago." The song started to play in full, not just the introduction. I sat there with him in silence just listening with him to the beauty in the music, I could taste the song, I could feel the emotion. I turned to him "why did you do it?" He got up, turned his back, and he was gone again "please don't leave again" I cried out. Like eleven years ago, he left me again without a trace, the questions still remained, but, the answers for questions I was not asking were addressed, for no reason at all. I layed down, and just listened to the song. The fire went out, so I picked up the key, and swallowed it "I will keep in here forever and ever."
Here is a link to the song that was blasting;
My alarm went off, and it was monday morning. I got out of bed, and after I ate breakfast, I had a shower. I was in there for about twenty minutes, just thinking about how realistic my dream was. Knowing what it meant, but not knowing what to do about it. I went to work, and placed it aside for the time being. It was time to finish up work for the next few days, and get ready for chemo. I was once again preparing myself for time off due to having the big "C".
Before I knew it, it was tuesday afternoon. I was sitting in my office speaking to a client, having a laugh, and talking business. Then, a collegue walked in "call your Oncologist back" is what he said. I thought to myself "she is probably just confirming tommorow." I got on the phone, waiting to hear what time I needed to be at the hospital "Hi Joshua, I have some very bad new, the hospital has made a terrible mistake. They were not supposed to book you in so soon, you will have to wait another three weeks for treatment. I am so sorry for putting you through this, I can only imagine what you must feeling" The tears were welling in my eyes "but I have put my life on hold for you. I have stopped everything for this moment."
I hung up the phone, put my head between my knees and just cried. Everything was supposed to change the next day. I was at the final hurdle of this battle, I was prepared to be extremely unwell for the next two months, I was ready to let all my hair fall out. I was ready to risk having kidney problems, I was ready to sit in a hospital everyday for a week at a time and have someone put toxic medication in my body. Just like that, I was told to wait. I pulled myself together, told my employer the situation, and went home.
All I wanted to do was be comforted, but everyone was gone. All I wanted was someone close to share my pain, but Dad was overseas still. I had to tell all the people that I told I was going in for treatment the next day that it was on hold for another three weeks, which was so hard to do. I had no energy left. I was worn out. My mind was everywhere at once, I felt lost because I was not going to be where I was supposed to be the next day. I was angry and upset at the same time, I wanted to strangle the fucking stupid doctor that rang me the previous friday and told me to basically cancel my life for the next two months because chemo will start in a few days.
I needed to calm down, so I went to bed. I woke up the next day and thanked God that Dad and Sarah were finally coming home. The days passed by, and I slowly bagan to come good. I woke up on the friday morning, and as I got out of the shower, I looked down at the scar across the top of my groin and remembered how lucky I was. I looked in the mirror and said "one day at a time buddy, one day at a time." What more could I do? I decided that this time around, I will not psych myself up, instead, I will just go with the flow.
Having cancer is a strain on your mental resilience, not to mention your emotions. It is hard to imagine what one feels when they are living with illness. It is like a roller coaster, because life becomes so real, every moment is real. When you are up, you are fucking up, but when the emotions kick in, you are down. It is somewhere in the back of your mind playing soccer in your head. You learn to let out whatever you can, to make room for the emotional soccer match that cancer brings you. When it is all said and done, I still would not change a single thing. Cancer has brought out alot of beauty in things. I have crossed paths with the most beautiful people since I was diagnosed.
I wish I could share more with you, the reader, but there is not enough space on the internet for everything I want to say. So I have chosen to tell my story to you like an IV, one drop at a time, just drip feeding the stories, to give those who are also dealing with cancer or any other illness some insight. I was talking to a very beautiful person over the weekend, and we were talking about how no two peoples journeys are the same when it comes to illness, they all differ slighty. I was saying to her that I believe there is a reason for this, it is so when someone gets unwell, they can listen to other peoples stories and use them, to build on there own survival. That is my theory anyway.
The Oncologist told me that on the 17th of October I will be starting my first treatment. Again I am back to where I orginally started, except, this time, I have changed my attitude. "One day at a time" is my new attitude. I wanted to lighten up a little, so I had my hair cut on the weekend. I had a mullet done. My hair looks ridiculous, but, I am not phased, I like it when my friends and family laugh and smile, it makes me smile. Things have been so deep and emotional that I wanted to go back to being 'good value' around my family and friends. I think it worked, I am smiling again, one day at a time. The journey has been unlike any other experience I have been through, I cannot use words to describe it, because they escape my mouth, all I can say is 'life is beautiful'...