When I was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, I cried for about 45 days. As I moved through those initial days and had it hammered1 into my head that I was terminal and that this cancer was going to kill me The Oncologist,™ made sure that I knew this. He pretty much mentioned it to me every single appointment.2
I used to think that I would pick a day but it’s more like a space of time. Right now, we are six days away from me dying. As we get closer to the day the more resolute I am in my decision. I’ve had a nice 3-day break from BMs which has reduced my pain levels immensely. But today, I am paying and paying hard.
Lately, as I think about dying I don’t cry as much. I used to play the whole scenario out in my head3 ending with the doctor asking me if I was ready, to which I reply yes, and I go to sleep. That’s it. This used to make my cry, hard. It would get even worse if I imagine what Deb, Angelina and Joe will have to deal with. Now, when I think about Monday at 3 pm, I am not happy per se, but I am not unhappy. I think I feel relief. I have relief that my death plan will have been executed the way I have thought about.
Before the cancer diagnosis, I used to worry about growing old without family and how would I cope with that. I worried about becoming more disabled from my autoimmune disease(s) and how this would affect our future care. I worried about how my size was going to affect me as I aged. I already was having difficulty going to grocery stores due to severe degeneration in my lower back, arthritis in my hips and feet.
Emotionally, I feel like I am starting to shut down. I don’t really want to cry anymore, I have done more than I share. I feel like my brain has now stepped in, kicked the emotions to the block and calmed me that it was now in charge. My brain has always been my best asset; it has yet to let me down in a crisis. After my 45 days of crying, I think I had been abandoned by my beautiful linear brain, which for the first time can’t solve the problem. I can’t make this cancer go away, I can’t manipulate it away, I have no control over the situation. The only bit of control I have is when I have my death.
Make no mistake, death is coming for me hard. Every day I lose something. This week it appears to be my legs which are very shaky every time I stand up. First off it takes me a good minute to contemplate getting up. Once up, I have to stand there for a minute while my legs don’t buckle. The biggest loss for me is one of time time both macro and mini. I have lost at least 20 years4. The mini losses are daily – I need to sleep so much that I lose about 4 hours a day to sleep the 12 hours a night I need. This time is becoming increasingly fleeting.
Ps – if this blog feels all over the place that’s because I wrote it over 3 days.
1 By The Oncologist™.
2 The Oncologist™ is a prick.
3 I am sure things will go much differently.
4 That’s how old my bio mom is.