Day 301 – The End

Well, this is it. It’s January 7 and it’s time to say goodbye. In just under 3 hours, a doctor will help me to leave this body behind and go wherever it is we go.

I have always had a very intuitive relationship with my body. Sometimes when I’d been having a lot of trouble with my colon, it will stop in the face of something bigger. When I got cellulitis, I had no colon issues for 3 weeks.

Now, I am coughing like crazy and my colon is calm although quite achy at times.

So, my friends, I want to thank you for reading the blog and commenting. I am so pleased that many of you got so much out of it. It was not my intention to start a cancer blog.

Regardless in 90 minutes the doctor will arrive and we shall begin the end.

Deb, Angelina, Joe, Rosie – I love you deeply.

Everyone else who helped us out, your generosity will not be forgotten.

Day 300 – the ‘pull the plug’ edition

I cannot believe it is the day before I am going to die. I am relieved because things are getting harder but it is going to be so hard to say goodbye to my chosen family. For someone who has had four sets of parents, one set of step-parents and two ½ brothers, I have no traditional family. My chosen family more than takes up the slack.

I’ve been reflecting on my death for the last couple of months. Deb asked me if I was scared and I am not, at all. MAiD has done such a great job explaining the process there is nothing to fear.

I don’t really have much to say that I haven’t already said. Ultimately, if I had a choice, I would choose to have a treatable breast cancer. Unfortunately, that was not to be my fate. I entered the game being many points behind with only a minute to go. I used up my time and I wasn’t able to score all the points. 

I want to thank everyone for all the help – whether it was over the summer, bringing us food etc. It has all been immensely appreciated. Thank you.

And, I think that’s it. Unless something else comes up.january 6, 2019

Day 299 – the ‘more miscellany’ edition

Well, it’s another blog where I don’t have to craft full paragraphs:

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  1. Don’t trust people who don’t like dogs. 
  2. If your dog doesn’t like someone there is usually a reason. Stevie disliked this one person every time she saw him. We though she was just being shy.⁠1 She never stopped barking at them no longer how long they visited.
  3. Death is something we all have to face at some point in time. All of the secrecy that surrounds death only leads to fear and confusion. I think if we can somehow normalize death – talking about the process more openly instead of in hushed/shamed tones, particularly around children. This only serves to confuse and make them fearful.⁠2 
  4. As we know, there are as many and varied ways as there are human beings to die. The thing is we are all going to do it. Very rarely, do we have an opportunity to say goodbye to our loved ones in a deliberate and loving way. Instead of waiting until I could barely function, waiting for death, choosing to take control with MAiD has made me feel so much more positive about the whole thing.⁠3
  5. Today, I am having the pleasure to listen to one of my oldest friends cooking and baking while they laugh and have a great time. I knew they would like each other. It is so heartening to see that this is much more of a celebration of me than it is about death. We all know what’s going to happen on Monday.
  6. I feel good about Monday. I know that I have no other options and that to continue to do chemo will just make me sicker. Sometimes when I look at those women who have been fighting for years, I have to remember that many of them started with lower stages. I am mentioning this because although many of you think I am brave for doing MAiD, I think I am not at all brave. I am avoiding all of the unpleasantness that comes with the advanced decline of death. I am not into someone wiping my ass.
  7. In many ways I am still reeling from the diagnosis. My year turned out so much differently than I had envisioned last January. We were on track until about mid-March. I have barely accepted the cancer let alone the death part. I am fearful it will enter my brain. I am already somewhat concerned about my balance. 
  8. As much as I don’t want to die, I am also quite accepting of the fact now. My life has been hell physically for well over a decade. I have always had issues with my weight and they have been compounded by my other illnesses. Not having to face another summer, or Christmas or deal with the hard parts of life, I am happy to be checking out. Again not that I would choose to go now however, I am accepting, and, in some ways, I am relieved. The best part is that I don’t have to pack a bag.
  9. MAiD sent a couple of nurses yesterday to make sure that they could access my port. There was a bit of trouble but I was able to point out one of the edges out and it was fine. I think one of them was a bit nervous so I tried to keep her calm by letting her continue to try. She got it. So all should be fine.
  10. Now, I am running away from my computer to spend time with my guests who are cooking!

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1 She would of course take treats from him because stomach.

2 I know, I’m not a parent but I did work with teenagers for almost a decade.

3 Again, I don’t want to die. My cancer has other ideas.

Day 298 the ‘last days’ edition

january 4, 2019Writing has been difficult over the last several days. I am not really sure what’s happening with that so I will do a more miscellany post:

  1. I want to thank so many of you for your kind words and telling me what I have meant to you or how I affected your life. Many of these are people with whom I have had a casual connection: Facebook, friends of friends etc. Then there are the people I know IRL. Wow, some of you have completely blown me away with what I have meant to you. I so appreciate the time you took to write to me. I have read every single message. 
  2. I was thinking this morning about how MAiD can completely changes the dying experience. Instead of days and nights long vigils and wondering if this is the time or should I fly home and all the stress that goes with having a terminal loved one. By the time the death vigil starts the sick person is likely bedridden and everyone is trying to keep everything quiet. Instead, I am up to conversation⁠1, I can eat some with everyone, and we can laugh. This to me is a far better death experience than I could have imagined. We’re not there yet but it’s close.
  3. I am looking forward to Monday and I am looking forward to dying. This in no way means that I want to die but it seems I don’t get a choice in the matter so I am going to embrace it. I am looking forward to being out of pain completely. Things are not getting better in this body and it’s only a matter of time where I would be confined to bed. So, I feel like I have picked the best time, made the best choices I could in incredibly trying circumstances.
  4. Speaking of MAiD, I am so grateful to this program and the women⁠2 who seem to be making it work while some of their colleagues take stands against MAiD. As usual, women lead the way in caring and compassion and we are almost always at the vanguard of progress. It is women who will save us from ourselves. 
  5. The port nurses just left. They had a little trouble but we muddled through it together. They need to make sure that they can access the port in time for the doctor Monday.

That’s it for now. I will try to blog one more time before Monday.

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1 After at least 12 hours of sleep though so I don’t’ have to nap.

2 I am not going to say it’s only women doing the work to support our right to die on the ground. But I will say that I have only come into contact with women.