Layers of Acceptance


losing our lives and the cost of indifferent behavior leadership on the individual

How do you feel these days? Anxious? Nervous? Depressed? Incarcerated? On house arrest? Disrespected? Cheated? Angry? Depleted ? Bewildered? Mistreated?

Do you feel a complete lack of deference to the administration in power in the United States?

Deference (also called submission or passivity) is the condition of submitting to the espoused, legitimate influence of one’s superior or superiors. Deference implies a yielding or submitting to the judgment of a recognized superior, out of respect or reverence.

Lately the windows seem like walls. The walls seem like prison bars. The front door like a vault passage with an unrepentant encryption lock. From the last fateful weeks of February 2020, I’ve been in lockdown and need to climb up Mount Kilimanjaro past the cloud layer, light headed from a lack of oxygen(kind of like if wearing a mask and breathing in my own CO2) to gain another level of acceptance. The insight into what life truly could look like when someone says, “well, could be worse.” I think the current situation with COVID19 maybe the “worse” case referenced in that vague statement of what could happen. And it’s so frustrating. We had several opportunities to stop the spread.

Now, consider this: the CDC is saying the situation will probably last until early 2022.

I feel cheated of my time remaining on this conscious plane in this terminally-ill body. There’s a mockery of global leadership just idling by in the Oval Office. He and his cronies couldn’t care less about people’s lives and what their lack of planning has done to our country. If you watched the second and final presidential debate for the 2020 election. You listened and heard the leader, of what I’ll now call our post democratic society, lie. And lie and lie and lie without putting forward answers to simple and valid questions that effect me and everyone else with a terminal illness.

In cheating their way into what is considered the singly most powerful position in global leadership they cheated us from our precious time with people we love. Cheated us from traveling to visit one another.

Thanksgiving cannot take place over a zoom call. The lifesaving hugs so integral to healing by releasing endorphins into our bloodstreams cannot become real — I had a virtual dance party during a Living Beyond Breast Cancer ( that at first provided some fun. But it’s hard to dance to the beat if there’s an elephant in the room stepping on my feet.

At least with – all the universes willingness – Biden in the Oval Office and Senator Kamala Harris up the hallway as Vice President, I won’t have the stress that I’ll lose my health insurance and my stage IV cancer will be treated as a preexisting condition.

Being forced into retirement at 49 and on disability for the rest of my life, their decisions significantly effect me and others in my situation. Some already have to a pretty large degree. Now we have less access to our physicians. The life sparing clinical trials have all but slowed to a halt because people who are needed to participate cannot travel – this past four year period of time will have lasting impact on so many people. The worst of that impact is our very mortality. It scares me to think the entire metastatic cancer population will be completely wiped out for reasons I cannot reconcile in my heart.

So I think having a metaphysical and mystical experience will help to decrease my anger and anxiety. There was enough to reconcile before this tragic era. Now the tragedy will take decades to right itself if it ever even does. There’s no new normal. We will all be feeling a shift in our lives from now and through the end of days. Talk about the butterfly effect – this is more aligned with a swarm of locusts effect.

So please vote. Please peacefully protest should some outrageous stunt a la Pizzagate and the disintegration of the dream of having the first woman president ripped to shreds. Let’s not forget that when Sen. Harris debated Mike Pence it was a historical event worth celebrating.

Instead a fly that for over six minutes flew around the white head of an ill-elected Vice President became the news story of the day. Proving we are in a time of lies and the bullshit that took our lives and left us to die like carrion on the side of a lonely road. But no one will be by to pick up the bodies. The vultures are already picking at our bones.

Irreverent hospital signage. No shit, that’s how I wash my hands? Thanks Stanford! A university education can only go so far

With that I’ll leave you with a few recommendations of cancer stuff. Listening instead of talking, opening up rather than shutting out brave voices and kinder hearts unafraid to discuss things as they are. Reminding me to live in the moment rather than putting my anger into the world. There’s enough of that going around these days and I’d rather hear some people I have come to know and care about personally. Listen and watch these wonderfully brave people – they’ve gone yards ahead of the written words you read here and it helps me to grapple when the silence is deafening:

Our MBC Life one podcast totally focused on metastatic breast cancer, thank you ladies. Let’s support them as they get their feet under them.

Thanks, Cancer! Leanne and Mimi discuss politics and cancer in their latest podcast Rudy is absolutely honest and irreverent and has inoperable brain cancer

7 comments on “Layers of Acceptance”

  1. Thank you, Ilene. You delivered an important message that personalized the extra layers that the impact of dreadful leadership have added to your already heavy load.

    I have been working to get out the vote, and I am cautiously optimistic that we will have compassionate, science-believing, healthcare-protecting leadership after Nov 3.

    1. Thank you for your work – you and so Kanu others who got our country to vote in record numbers and get Biden elected. I was so happy when I got up I cried. This imprisonment will be over soon and we can all be free again. Maybe by thanksgiving next year we will all be at tables together holding hands and bowing our heads in gratitude for so many things.

  2. Hi Ilene,
    I’m so glad you wrote this. I think many of us feel cheated in a lot of ways – much of it as a direct result of failed leadership at the top. But folks like yourself living with metastatic cancer have every reason to be even more upset. I filled out my ballot and hand delivered it into the slot at my polling place. I hope the future can brighten for us all a bit come November 4. Thank you for writing such powerful words. xo

    1. We have our brighter future. I’m convinced Biden will immediately act to get this thing under control and we will be free again. It’s been horrible watching with bated breath and the division in our country needs to heal. Perhaps they need to take a page from our book and get some rest from the rage.

  3. I voted. I wear my mask. I’m sending you a hug. I feel the isolation, too. Last week, I started to plan my party of one Thanksgiving. I will be thankful even though I’m alone. Hoping the weather is good so I visit outdoors and take a good walk.

    1. Kristie if you were closer you’d be at my house. Some of us move to be closer to nature. Some of us just can’t go anywhere because of the virus which had its worst day increase yesterday! People are feeling corona fatigue ? Try cancel fatigue on for size people. I mean really. And I will pray you get the weather you need to take a beautiful walk in November. Much love.

      1. Ilene, you are so kind. I have family less than a mile away, but I don’t think I can take the chance of sharing a meal indoors with masks off for that long. Just one more way cancer sucks, but I’ll do what I need to do.

I welcome your comments!

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