I expect it was inevitable at some point.
And today was the day.
Woke up this morning immersed in fear.
Not your run-of-the-mill sort of fear; the kind we all get that kinda sounds like “oh, I don’t think this ends well,” or “I think I really screwed this up.”
But way down to your bones Scared AF fear.
I think I’ve broken through and am confronting the inevitability of my situation on a whole new level. However, as we so often do, I’m investing the fear not in what I know, but what I don’t know.
It’s not the going over the edge into the abyss so much that has me freaked. Nor even the prospect of standing at the edge and looking into that abyss.
It’s the anticipation of being dragged over the rocks on the way to that edge that has me trying to climb out of my skin.
So much is unclear about just how this is going to play out. Where the cancer elected to set up camp once it metastasizes. How much pain that brings; how physically or mentally debilitated I’ll be. What the chemo options might look like, and whether they’ll seem worth the fight.
And yet this is all, ALL of it, just stuff I’m making up in my head at this point. We’re not there yet. Today is today. There is much important work to be done, that I can still do.
I know that this mindset is a trap of my own devising, and I need to make the decision, take the action, to step away from it and get on with the tasks of the day.
And I shall, given another cuppa or two and some space to recenter myself. This is the first time though since I was upgraded to Stage 4 that I woke up like this. And it seemed like I ought to memorialize it.
I’ve been pretty clear all along with everyone about my general feelings about all this. I have enjoyed a remarkable run, and I am grateful for it. As I like to say, I’ve been “playing with house money” for quite a while now.
And, somewhat to my surprise, I’ve also found myself to be deeply grateful for the “advance notice” of my pending offramp. My entire life, my baseline assumption was always “I hope I just get hit by a bus one day, so I don’t have to put any thought into what end of life means.”
But, in the event, it turns out I actually have found this interim period to be extremely useful. Not in terms of “delaying the inevitable,” rather that it’s providing me room for reflection, some opportunities to savor, a chance to do what I can to clean up things I’m responsible for and position myself to end my run as gracefully as possible. And how lucky am I to get that chance? Very lucky indeed, I’d say.
And yet; and yet. I woke up this morning immersed in fear. Deep, to the bone fear about how the rest of this plays out. That in the face of how terribly fortunate I have been to date. Not least in that I know, to the depths of my core, that I love and am loved (not by all, but by more than a few—and all out of scale to anything earned or deserved).
So there it is. It’s an authentic feeling. I hereby mark it, own it, and choose to get on with the tasks of the day.