The world was supposed to end today, if you believe conspiracy theorists. Today of all days, I find it particularly ironic. Clearly we are still here, though the day is only half-over — so maybe there’s still time? (Laughs darkly)  Or maybe all those prognostications only mean ‘the world as we know it.’

With the Miramar Air Show screaming overhead, I will write about the latest development in my life. Yesterday I had an ultrasound examination of my ovaries, etc. I have not had one since 2010, when cysts were found on my right ovary. I had surgery to remove them, they were tested and deemed benign. This ultrasound seemed quicker. The technician appeared to zero in and then became utterly stone-faced during the remaining course of the exam. It was a quiet sombre ordeal, and somehow that made it seem more worrisome. The technician only reassured me that the results would be ready that afternoon. I half expected a phone call from the doctors, demanding to see me straight away. Then again this was Friday, and doctors aren’t notorious for working a Friday afternoon, are they? You see how impossible it was for me to have cheerful optimism.

I got through the day by being very busy at work. Thanks to “Steptember” I have been walking a lot more (nearly 2 hours each day) and walking to and from work is part of that. The quiet solitary walk home after work causes a loneliness to wrap around me. I miss my friends in Orange County.  I called my friend Lisa and was immediately glad. She was out having an after-work drink with Carmen. The two of them were exactly what I needed at that moment. A group shoulder to cry on, an ear to hear my worst fears, and words of wisdom. These two, even when they themselves are going through so much, will stop whatever their doing and give whatever support is needed. I love them both for being such great friends.

I have cultivated this small but supportive network of people, including a somewhat new friend, Badria. She remembers that I was having pain in the region of my right ovary back in late 2015. So, this has been going on in some manner for at least two years. Based on the length of time that I’ve had symptoms, I’m going to guess that it’s just my one stupid ovary developing cysts like its done for decades, and nothing more ominus – in spite of the serious faces of the medical staff.  Surely if it were ovarian cancer, something every single woman must fear second only to breast cancer, it would have killed me by now.

Looking at ultrasound images online has shown me there are many different variations of cysts and ovarian problems. It is easily likely that my cysts are benign and of no worry except that they are causing pain and other annoying symptoms. For that reason alone I would like to have the invasive creatures removed once and for all.

Monday, I will visit the gyno and hear the results of yesterday’s exam. All shall be revealed then. But, I shouldn’t wait until then to change my attitude. I need a lesson in becoming a positive thinker, and this is the perfect opportunity. I’ve started reading “The Essential Dalai Lama.” One particular statement stands out: The real destroyer of our happiness is always there within us.

He goes on to say that emotions without proper reason are negative emotions.  “Liberation can only arise from a recognition of the third level of suffering, the ‘suffering of conditioning,’ where we realize that so long as we remain under the control of ignorance we will be subject to suffering, and there will be no room for lasting joy and happiness.”  I understand this to mean that I am conditioned to believe that these symptoms are caused by a particular thing. I am conditioned to fear that particular thing. I am conditioned to fear pain and suffering, even when I know that there are many, many people who are currently suffering far worse than I.  Don’t fall for the notion that becoming a positive thinker means one lacks empathy for others who are suffering. That isn’t true at all, in fact it’s quite the opposite.

If this feels like a cliff-hanger, it is.  You see, the world hasn’t ended. It has simply changed. This phase has only just begun.

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