• Mark Pajak

Living in the Mystery



Sometimes, but not aways, people confuse me with what they say when I tell them I have Multiple Myeloma/cancer. I must admit that often I am surprised. One such saying that I have heard on more than one occasion is “oh I’m sorry… well I guess we all live in the mystery.” HUH!

Presented below are some of the items/thoughts that can occupy my mind when I consider the uncertainties of living with cancer/Multiple Myeloma:

  1. I never am quite certain how I will respond to the drugs

  2. I am never quite certain if the current protocol that I am on will be effective

  3. I am never quite certain how long the effectiveness of the current protocol will last

  4. I am never quite certain what side effects might I experience from the chemo infusions that constitute the protocol I am currently on

  5. I am never quite certain what my blood numbers will be and how they reflect the general state of my well being

  6. I am never quite certain if a monoclonal peak number will show up; and if it does show up, how high/low will that number be

  7. I am never quite certain as to the state of my immune system other than knowing that it is compromised. So, I am never quite certain if I should be avoiding people/large groups of people even thou “large” has never been specifically quantified.

  8. I am never quite certain as to …..

I hope that you get the picture.

Living with Multiple Myeloma is an uncertain proposition. Of course, living without MM is an uncertain proposition as well. However, my life with MM just seems so much more uncertain than my life without MM. Maybe, I am just more aware of the uncertainties that come with living. I have just substituted some of the uncertainties without MM for some of the uncertainties with MM. The sum-total is the same but what makes up the sum is different.

I gain no solace in having this understanding. Knowing the uncertainties does not make them easier to adapt to, easier to accept.

I believe that that is where this idea of “living in the mystery” comes in.

We just can never know all that there is to know. And how boring would it be if indeed we knew exactly how our lives would play out. I believe that the unknowns, the “mysteries” eventually have a way of becoming “knowns.”

A mystery can be defined as something that is difficult or impossible to understand. In my mind, living within a/the mystery must be accompanied by a whole lot of acceptance for what has come my way. This acceptance probably is best accomplished without asking too many questions.

I have come to understand that searching for answers might be an “anti” living in the mystery.

What good does it do me to know why this MM/Cancer happened? It has happened and I must accept reality. What good does it do me to try and figure out how long I am going to live? What good does it do me to go down the dark alley that asks “why do I have MM/cancer when my friend who smokes, drinks, never exercises and is in love with his red-velour couch in his man-cave strolls along life’s path not having to put up with chemo infusions and the nausea that most assuredly appears several hours later?

Live In the Mystery. I have heard about accepting this “living in this mystery” advice from many yet frankly I have never really figured out what I am supposed to do/how am I to live in this supposed mystery.

And then I had an “AH HAA” moment.

“Living in the mystery” I have come to believe is no more or no less than just “Living.” My focus had been distracted by the word mystery when all along the key word in that phrase in not mystery but LIVING.

Just live your life. Just live your life.

Live your life with cancer/MM and do not worry about some mystery. Do not look for answers. Do not spend your energy on anything more than just living life within the moral guidelines and principals that I have come to accept. Try to be nice. Try to be kind. Try to make sure to tell those that I love that I love them.

And that my friends is something I can do. I can live in the mystery because I believe that living at this point is a very worthwhile goal. The desire to live takes on and accepts the mysteries that life brings me.

“Living in the mystery” is all right. Its simple advice and not crazy at all. And that simplicity is golden.

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