July 6, 2011

A Profound Responsibility

I had a follow up meeting with my oncologist today.  My last chemo treatment had slowed down the rate of growth of my cancer temporarily (at too high a cost, mind you) and it seems the effect is still working.  I'm going to take this with a bit of optimism, something which I've had too little of lately.  Mind you, my pain level is increasing and the fatigue is getting almost unmanageable but these are all things I have come to expect.  Very little will shock me from here on in.

I must admit that I was a little scared going in, but I think that is natural.  Even when you know what to expect, there is still that lingering idea that it's all a big lie.  That's spelled d-e-n-i-a-l and I don't think it ever disappears completely, even when you have finally accepted your fate.  Perhaps its a coping mechanism or perhaps its just something built into the human DNA.

I read an interesting post once where a fellow terminal cancer patient stated that, once you are told you are going to die - that there is no cure - you immediately join a very special subset of people who think differently, deal with things differently and act differently than everyone else.  That there is no going back and no way anyone else can truly relate to you, no matter how much they try, no matter how much they love you.  I certainly feel that way and even my dear wife, Dianne, can see the truth in it.  For one thing, it forces you to really focus on your own mortality if you haven't already done that (I started that shortly after my initial cancer diagnosis even though I didn't know I was terminal at the time).  I will have a lot to say about what mortality is and what immortality means in future posts.  And I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject as well.

Now that I have begun this blog, I feel a magnificent new freedom.  I have so much to say and so much I want to share with you.  I didn't ask for this but, now that its here, I am viewing it as a gift and as a profound responsibility to share my thoughts and feelings with anyone who wishes to start thinking about it now.  You will all have to think about it someday, but I really believe that thinking about it early can change your life.

Till next time......

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