Dive 262: Some Days You Just Need a Cuddlefish …

Dear Critters,

Some weeks are so strange and surreal. Like when you leave work on Wednesday afternoon to get the results from your CT and PET scans the day before. And your oncologist tells you that your new tumour is too big and impacting too many vital organs for surgery to be an option. Without palliative treatment, you may only have months to live. If the proposed treatment slows your symptoms down, you might have another year or two, if there are no complications … Staring through the image of the enormous white tumour on his computer screen, you try to calculate how many dives you might have left. Quickly you realise it probably won’t be enough to empty your Bucket List that overflows with manta rays and great white sharks and blanket octopuses and whale sharks and more …

So the weekend comes, and you do what you always do when you need to clear the muck of life out of your head. You drive an hour down to the peninsula with your friends to submerse yourself as quickly as possible under one of the local piers. It is too early to tell your friends what you know, and besides – you don’t want to spoil the dive. Beneath the surface, it is impossible to think of anything else other than the cold salt water against your skin and the beautiful creatures that might appear to dance before your camera. Weightless in the water, there is no choice other than to forget that you are sick, and that you have truly left the job you love for the final time, and that no-one can tell you how many dives you might have left.

wm portsea cuddlefish

It has been many months since you last dived Portsea Pier. But you are with your amazing buddy who always manages to find a cuddlefish or two in these waters. More than ever, you need a cuddlefish today. Within minutes, your friend has activated his critter-spotting super-power, and you are gliding as one through the water with the most intelligent and intriguing critter in all of the ocean. Β Funny little fish peer out at you from sponge covered logs, each of you in awe of the other’s simplicity and fragility.

wm pufferfish in spongy log

After an hour, the conditions in the water go from serenity to more like the inside of a washing machine – the notorious tide is turning. You swim towards the beach, only to find large waves ready to smack you down each time you try to get up. Resistance is futile, and soon you are rolling on your back, like the proverbial beached whale in the shallows, being pounded repeatedly.

You begin to laugh uncontrollably, doing all you can to avoid a mouthful of angry waves doing their best to smash and drown you again and again. This relentless rolling and flailing and almost dying at the end of such a blissful dive is hilarious. Your tired body pounds endlessly into the sand and you know with all your heart that resistance is futile. Perfect laughter drives out all fear, pouring out of your mouth like all the life of the ocean itself. You roll and laugh and wait until your buddy can come to your rescue.

You understand that there is simply no need to panic. No need to lie down and die. No need to let the waves carry you out into the depths or smash you to pieces against the sharp rocks in the shallows. You count every dive as a blessing and every breath as a miracle. You let the purity of joy flood through your soul. Death will come for us all, but in this very moment, you are vibrantly, fully alive.

image.png-2

Breathe slowly and deeply. In those moments when you can’t seem to keep your head above the water, gently rest your face against the surface and peer in wonder into the depths below. They are not nearly as frightening as you once may have thought.

Love and bubbles,

PT xxx

 

(Photo of PT courtesy of Julie Jones)

14 thoughts on “Dive 262: Some Days You Just Need a Cuddlefish …

  1. I’m just catching up on your blog, I’m devastated by your latest news and want to give you massive hugs. Last month I was given a lifespan too, read challenge No 10 – Overcoming Reality on my blog. Keep positive and keep diving. X loads of zebra hugs.

    • There with you, sweetheart. When doctor’s give this news, it is opinion, not fact. Only God knows what day will be our last and our positive mental attitude is everything. Right now, we are 100% fully alive – as alive as every other person on the planet and more alive than many. Death is inevitable, not just for us but for every single person. But while life is ours, we must celebrate and live it to the full. Unlike many others, we can no longer take it for granted. Love you all up and hugs galore, zebrakat. Let’s rise above all we have been told to live our lives with joy and to embrace our bliss. Much love and many bubbles, PT xxxxx

  2. You are a wonderful lady!! My prayers are with you always. I love your perspective on life and death. Big hugs to you my friend as you battle, Strength from the Father is there and you certainly drink it in.:-)

    • Tank you so much, urright2no. I really appreciate your kind words and feedback. I prefer to see this as a journey rather than as a battle, but sometimes it definitely feels like Game On! πŸ™‚ Big hugs received and returned. And tank you for your health product recommendation – I will definitely look into it. I’m very proactive in trying to figure out which natural products might best meet the needs of my specific condition. The world of healing is so multi-faceted, between medicine, faith, encouragement and the incredible way the body has been designed to heal itself, given the right conditions and support – always such an adventure of discovery! πŸ˜€ Love and bubbles, PT xxx

  3. PT, your perspective is so incredibly powerful. I believe between that and God and your love of life is what is keeping you here doing exactly what you love! You are inspirational, funny, brave, and I truly wish I had the honor of knowing you in person. You may be sick but you are full of life and love for life and the love of being underwater and you sharing that with us is magnificent as I live vicariously through you! I will be reblogging all of your wonderful dives, but a little at a time so I don’t overwhelm my visitors. It’s also nice to put something absolutely wonderful in the midst of all the turmoil going on in the world that gets blogged on so that’s when I will come and reblog another of your precious dives. I want the world I live in to see the world you live in! Yours is must more preferable! You cannot every know the place that you have in my heart even though we have never met. I write this through tears of joy for your courage and love of life in the face of whatever the doctors say, you will do what you love to do and I believe that God gives you that strength to keep doing it because of the life that He gave you and that you continue to live it in spite of whatever traditional medicine says. And because you video tape your dives, you are sharing it with all who have the honor of seeing your blog or a reblog! What a precious gift you are to us all. I thank God for you and ask for Him to give you many more dives, in Jesus’ Name!

    • Tank you so much for your feedback, kindness and encouragement, nanarhonda πŸ™‚ When I first became aware that I was very sick in 2010, I realised that one of the first things I needed to do for my own health and sanity was to shut my mind off from negativity. I care deeply about the world, but I could not dwell on all the darkness in the world that was almost impossible to avoid. Instead, I wanted my life to be a celebration of awe and wonder, and I am so excited to think that what I am able to share might help to inspire others to see things from a different perspective. If we only experience land, we cannot understand the other three quarters of the world that we live in. I fear that some people adopt a similar approach to their problems – the 25% problem eclipses the 75% of the joy that would otherwise be theirs for the taking.

      I am completely inspired by your faith, passion and compassion also, nanarhonda. Sometimes it is not until our bodies begin to restrict or let us down that we begin to truly focus on the things that matter: the spirit, the mind and the heart. Your capacity to reach out with God’s love to encourage others is heartfelt, precious and rare. I love your heart and thank you for your prayer. From our lips to God’s ears, Amen xxxxx

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