Is Everything Going as Planned?

Jan 24, 2023 | A Cowboy in Chinese Camp

Only moments prior did the young sales lady ask Bren and me if we’d ever been in this “Restoration Hardware” retail store. “Yes” responded Bren, who was ogling at some very nice bath towels. “Where are you folks from?” was the sales lady’s next question. We attempted to explain where Tuolumne County is but to no avail, as this young lady’s geographical sphere seemed limited to not much beyond University Avenue here in Palo Alto. She then asked what had brought us so far from home, still assuming I guess in her mind that Tuolumne County was far away. “Stanford” I said. “Oh, are you getting ready to start school?” she asked. Flattered for just a nanosecond, I explained that we were at the hospital for a cancer scan. The young lady probably realized at this point that her line of questions had led us into an awkward corner of shuffling feet, throat clearing, followed by everyone looking at the ground. That’s when she dropped back to punt, finishing with: “Is everything going as planned?”

My response wasn’t in any way meant to talk down to her or refuse to return her punt. It just came out. “Cancer doesn’t follow plans” was my answer. The nice young lady stepped back speechless, then politely reminded us if we needed any assistance to just ask.

Making our way through and around the overpriced-and-really-not-that-attractive furniture, we exited “Stage Right”. We took a left once on the sidewalk, a block down we stopped at a nice cafe for some lunch. Those of us who’ve had or still have cancer understand this disease writes its own playbook. It then executes the plays as it sees fit. It does not invite officials or referees as it has no interest or intention in following any rules, plans, or regulations. Cancer enters the body as an unwanted visitor, but it ultimately becomes a slumlord, moving into the penthouse–our minds. Most of this battle is waged between the ears. The cerebral cortex becomes the mine-filled militarized zone with “fear and worry” acting as field commanders.

Mark Twain once stated, “Worry is likened to paying on a debt that may never be called due.” Yet, throughout the ages man and womankind have perfected the Art of “What If?”.

Will Rogers once said, “I know worrying works because 99 percent of the things I worry about never happen!”

Jesus asked us a simple question regarding the subject: “Whom among you can add so much as one hour to your life through worrying?”

Although the scan results are already on my Stanford App-even Nurse Brenda can’t understand the verbiage. So, we now wait to hear back from the doctors. This presents us with two choices: wait & worry, or just get each day started and be thankful for it.

Both back stock tanks and floats are having issues. There’s fencing tore up between us and one of the neighbors and the, well it’s a ranch that seldom if ever doesn’t have a list of things to be done. The Coffee mugs are now in the sink and we’re heading out to get something positive done. If you’re in a similar situation regarding Worry, grab your pliers, digging bar, and shovel and come join us. If not in the physical at least mentally. Let’s leave the “What If’s” right here in the kitchen today all alone.