a small football

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.

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About Holly

fiber person - knitter, spinner, weaver who spent 33 years being a military officer to fund the above. And home. And family. Sewing and quilting projects are also in the stash. After living again in Heidelberg after retiring (finally) from the U.S. Army May 2011, we moved to the US ~ Dec 2015. Something about being over 65 and access to health care. It also might have had to do with finding a buyer for our house. Allegedly this will provide me a home base in the same country as our four adult children, all of whom I adore, so that I can drive them totally insane. Considerations of time to knit down the stash…(right, and if you believe that…) and spin and .... There is now actually enough time to do a bit of consulting, editing. Even more amazing - we have only one household again. As long as everyone understands that I still, 40 years into our marriage, don't do kitchens or bathrooms. For that matter, not being a golden retriever, I don't do slippers or newspapers either. I don’t miss either the military or full-time clinical practice. Limiting my public health/travel med/consulting and lecturing to “when I feel like it” has let me happily spend my pension cruising, stash enhancing (oops), arguing with the DH about where we are going to travel next and book buying. Life is good!
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