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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Occasions of Reality

It seems to happen at night. Usually I can call it chemo-induced insomnia, but perhaps it's just the dark and quiet lending itself to contemplation, but whatever it is, and tonight is one of those times, when I have occasions of reality - that is, the settling of my mind on what is really going on and what is likely to happen to me, to my life, and to those that I love.

Before this last chemo round, my wunder-doc told me that many people stop after four rounds, unable or unwilling to tolerate the final two in the prescribed course of six. She told me that studies show that those who undergo all six live longer and she suggested that, due to my age and health, I continue.

Live longer.

Don't get better.

Don't get cured.

Live longer.

And I've known this all along...that treatment is simply delaying the inevitable, but something about that conversation in the quiet dark of this one night struck a rather unsettling cord with me.

And I start to think about five years.

I will, in all likelihood, be dead within five years.

(Actually less, if you consider that it has been not quite eight months since my diagnosis. By the way, 50% of people diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer ARE dead within eight months, so I guess there's something to be thankful for).

So what does one do with that?

It's hardly practical for me to quit my job and spend my time traveling or spending time with family. You do have to live until you die. But perhaps some reconnoitering is in order. Some re-evaluation of what I do with my time, versus what I want to do, or try to do, or accomplish. Not to be cheesy, but a bucket list, if you will (although they did some stuff I would completely not be interested in in that movie). Something more based in reality - simpler, something actually do-able.

Maybe making the list will help me get some sleep.

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