Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Coming to Terms

These are a bunch of guys who came to visit me in the hospital back in November after my surgery. They didn't know me. They were just asked to come visit me by one of the nurses on the third floor where I was staying. It's people like this along with friends, family and caregivers who make you want to fight for your life a tad bit harder every day.

This is what I looked like when they visited. See my pupils? I was so high on morphine that I am surprised I remember anything from those six days in room 361. I am actually missing huge blocks of time...surprise, surprise. That weird bubble thing on the nasal cannula is to monitor my CO2 to make sure I'm actually breathing. The drugs really depressed my respiratory system so if I wasn't breathing properly an alarm would go off and I would be reminded to breathe deeper. Cool, huh? It was annoying though.
Anyway, on with my story. Lately I've been coming to a kind of peace...or coming to terms with this thing that's inside of my body threatening my life everyday. Yes, it is that harsh. People make it difficult to be real with them about it because while they're treating me like a precariously perched blown glass ornament I feel as though I could say boo and they'd fall over with fear for me. So I tell them about my treatment plan or the story of how I found out I had cancer and tell them I'm fine today and I remain relatively clinical about it, but I try to not let on about how scared I am. I'm scared shitless every day and night that this thing will get the best of me. Why? Simply because it can. For the record; I do think I'll be okay. However, that doesn't mean I'm not frightened of the what if that lurks in the corners of my brain (and my pelvis) at all times. It wears a black cloak and carries a scythe. You call it cancer. I call it Death. That brings me back to the terms I have been coming to with him.

As time trudges forward and I find more peace with my unknown future I find over and over that yes, I do want to live. I've said that many times before and meant it, but I also find that it's a choice I have to make everyday. And again: I do actually think I'll be okay, but I know deep down in my soul that even if Death did collect in the form of cancer that I would be okay. - No matter what happens. I.Will.be.OK. - I find that hard to admit to the numerous family and friends who will read those words because they may find them difficult to swallow. They want me to live. They don't want to hear of death. They may just want to hear rainbows and butterflies from me on the subject and feel like I'm being selfish for uttering thoughts of darkness, but it's truth time. Time to be real. If I decide to live or to die (and yes, I do believe the choice makes a big difference in the survival) I should be making the decision based on what I want and not what everyone else wants...right? If you disagree, then please, trade places with me and tell me this shit isn't all about you. - Please, don't trade places with me...I wouldn't wish this shit on anyone. I was only making a point; that cancer isn't about the people who don't have it.

And why am I even discussing whether or not I want to live or die? Shouldn't the answer be obvious? You'd think so, wouldn't you? However, it's a strange journey the mind and soul take when faced with mortality. I could try to explain it to you, but I don't think I could exactly put it into terms anyone would understand. I apologize for leaving that limb dangling right in your way. Don't knock yourself out trying to figure it out; some things are better left unfigured.

Off to bed now. Goodnight good people,


Judi FitzPatrick said...

Sounds like this is a spiritual journey for you as well as a medical one.

Sending hugs, healing vibes, and continued strength your way.
Peace, Judi

Carrie said...

Ah darling, as always, praying for you from afar! It's a great decision to make to live, and know that you are not alone in everything you are feeling. Feel free to whack stupid people with that big branch. :-) Hugs from Seattle (@carrierae)!

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

The mere fact that you have the guts to just put it all out there makes me more proud of you than you could ever know. But I'm glad you didn't try to explain it because I'm sure the thoughts & feelings are different for everyone. So your head space may not even be the same as someone else with cancer let alone those of us who've never been through something so huge. But talking it out even for yourself must be good for the soul :-) I love you!