I feel slightly confused, a bit like the weather, which is cloudy and muggy and warmish. I laugh at Anthony Bourdain, who could eat Balinese roast suckling pig till he loses consciousness and proclaims it the best he's eaten (and he gives a rundown of all his pork place highlights). I can certainly relate to his feeling that it's time to stop the madness and stay in paradise. I'm suddenly drawn to Bali, feeling deeply the insight of his commentary. But I digress.
April has been a month of cancer deaths, of people I only know through friends. The circumstance of their death rings home. I feel a strange and paralyzing sorrow. I shed tears for their families, and hope that the passing was a soft and quiet relief for the departed. I project my own hopes and fears, of course, and in large part my own grief. My friends held off telling me the news, the details. But I need to hear it. It's still an abstraction, but with every wheeze and stab of pain I wonder, is my time come?
Though this life is fraught with pain, sadness, hard times, it is also full of immeasurable beauty and love, the source of my longing and resistance to death. I wish I'd kept rockclimbing, rafting, cycling, hiking. I wish I'd thrown caution to the wind when I first entered college and thrown myself full-force into a creative major (fine art/museum studies or maybe literature/publishing). I wish I'd continued traveling about. If I had more time, I'd maybe do those things again, run footloose through flower fields. But probably not, because modern living seems so against unmerited pleasure. There's such a drive to work, earn, be productive, own things. I suppose in the end, it's a good thing I got a job with benefits, or where would I be now? On the other hand…
What did they (the departed) want in their last hours? To see their kids grow up, perhaps, or to finish something? None of my goals are super noble. I want to see the last three Harry Potter movies. I'd like to make sure my brother can sort of get by. I'd like to spend some time with my husband doing something other than work or fishing (this may be impossible), like maybe exploring London, relaxing in Bali, diving the Great Barrier Reef…Again, the thoughts of someone for whom death is imminent; not of someone who may experience a miracle. I'd like to think I've learned something about being on the brink of death, but I'm not sure I have. It doesn't seem that hard, and I don't know why I should feel guilty, but the bottom line is, ENJOY LIFE. So when Death comes, you can go with him and know that you gave it all you had.
I want to be able to hold my husband and tell him it's alright, I've had a good run. In my heart I've already given him my blessings for the rest of his life to come. He's stood by me and he deserves all that life has to offer (I just wish I could enjoy it with him, as this illness seriously changed our lifestyle). I want to be at peace when I go, maybe that's why I feel sad. I wonder if people are bitter at the hand they were dealt. I know I used to be, but it's luck of the draw.
Anyway, this isn't solving the fuzziness I feel. Best to move on to some other activity. As a sidenote, I'm on the 17th cycle of the present chemotherapy regimen. One more cycle and it'll be a year since I started it. My last CT scan was stable. I've been experiencing nausea a few days after treatment, and the skin rashes haven't abated, but I'm still up and about. I've toyed with the idea of researching treatments again, but, eh. I haven't made any plans for a big trip this summer…there seems to be something happening every month until September. Maybe I'll do something last minute like last year— I need to fly while I can, and remember that there are weeks in between the sprinkling of events. I don't have time to squander.
Oh, and I finally read the last HP:
Many of his loved ones die. I guess it's sort of fitting.
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