To actively think about one’s death is to admit to human frailties. An acknowledgement that life ends and while living there are limitations/ It is as if the act of just considering affects the fabric of personal reality. It is thus I sit with fingers on keyboard in the dark of the night admitting that I will not enjoy today. My trip to Sacramento, to the VA hospital will mark much more than the last week, a defining line in my transition from person to patient. I could visit an ER, get a CT scan, consult on the phone. But the act this morning of signing into Radiology to have a needle stuck into me for a biopsy changes everything.
It isn’t like I really have a choice. What was even a few weeks ago a “huh?” is now fact that can’t be avoided. It is not that I weigh all that much that I have to wonder how this tumor has managed to successfully hide itself for so long/. Perhaps it hasn’t been all that long, which brings its own bit of coolness along the spin as a different story, a sooner ending travels up my nerves and into my brain. If it hasn’t been there all that long, then it is even more rapidly growing than I want to consider and my time left is less than I want to admit.
So today I get to hold still while the radiologist sticks a needle into what used to be my right kidney while i attempt to hold myself together. My original plan has already been foiled by the alien thing inside which apparently is situated such that it simply can’t been excised. Do I care how things are usually done? Not really. I want it gone but am realistic enough to admit I can’t force surgeons into a no win situation; to perform a surgery that they don’t think has even a small chance of leaving them with a living patient rather than a blood bath.
So at 0430 in the morning I lay here quietly thinking. Listening to an audiobook. Letting George get the sleep that he will need in order to drive me to Sacramento. I’ve spoken with my kids. Tried to reassure them while inside I know that my choices are limiting to a narrow path with an end in sight. I’m not even angry that my 21 year respite from disease is at an end. I am too weary for that. I am simply glad for those years, for family, friends and the travel I have been able to do. Regretful for those things which I had planned that are simply not going to happen. But we all run out of time, no matter how long or short our lives.