Monday, September 28, 2009

Off Ramp: Loma Linda

For those of you interested in following along in more of a daily journal type format I will be adding weekly updates along the way on an alternate blog noted to the left under "Updates." "On the Path with Prostate Cancer" will remain focused on my reflections and observations along the way. Your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.
Thank you for joining in on the journey!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Off Ramps

Life is full of off ramps. Like on a freeway, off ramps have different purposes and of course you would never take all of them. We will exit on one to refuel and get refreshed. On another we find ourselves stopping for nourishment or simply taking an exit for that needed “rest stop.” And then we jump back on the freeway to continue on towards our destination. A fact concerning off ramps is that they are part of the journey; they are not the destination. The off ramps we do not expect to take often are marked by the words “Detour Ahead.”

At first glance, encountering prostate cancer (PCa) on life’s journey appears to fall under the category of a “detour” off ramp. Detours often signal the fact there is something going on ahead requiring attention. Sometimes we know ahead of time, which in turn enables us to plan our route accordingly. However, often they catch us off guard and add stress to our travel plans. In my case, PCa definitely caught me off guard and it has definitely put me on a different course than I would have chosen. I think most people are resistant or at least balk at a change from an original plan. Change can be uncomfortable especially when it is out of our control. In the case of a detour, it is a matter of regaining control. In the old days this was the point when the maps would come out. Nowadays it is marked by the reassuring words emanating from our GPS, “re-calculating.” It has often been stated, “knowledge is control.” That is especially true when one is forced to navigate the prostate cancer path. But it is also vital to remember the detour is part of the new route to get us to our final destination.

As I have been reading various cancer related stories, I have noticed how many have stated how their disease had caused them to re-examine their lives and had given them a new perspective on life. This re-evaluation process is evidently the “construction project” that required the detour in the first place. This is a road of discovering who we really are as a person. Eventually this type of detour or off ramp will more than likely get us back on the route to our destination. But don’t be surprised if you find yourself on a new road once the detour ends. In fact you might find yourself on the scenic route full of new discoveries.

“Many are the plans in a man's heart,
But it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.”

Proverbs 19:21 (New International Version)