Yesterday I cried for the first time – really cried.
I spoke with my new oncologist. A one hour scheduled Zoom became a two hour conference. He explained everything to me with specificity – drug treatments, side effects, how I can expect to feel after my first chemo treatment and the second and the third. He was also focused on my current physical state and how I would likely tolerate the treatment given my recent medical issues. No doctor has done any of that for me and I really appreciated it. I need to know what’s happening and what I can expect.
We also discussed long-term goals and he told me what I already knew intuitively. We need to take it step by step and see how the tumor responds. However, remission is unlikely. Any future surgery (if even possible) would be extreme and would not cure me making the decision to have it or not one to be considered with care. My pain will be addressed and my quality of life will improve.
Time passes quickly so how do I want to spend it? The answer to this question is circumscribed by circumstance. I need to earn a living. Otherwise, I would grow a garden and sit under the shade of a tree and watch the sky. I would write and take photos, heedless of the passing days, thinking only of the rising and setting of the sun, the moon. I would snooze with my cat and match her in peaceful splendor.
I think about my childhood, running barefoot through a sprinkler on the grass; standing under a garden hose as the water let loose; letting inchworms take a stroll on my arm; being a landing pad for the passing lady bug; watching caterpillars with fascination. I haven’t seen a caterpillar, let alone an inchworm, in 40 years. Where have they gone? Where am I?
I must not look back. I must look forward. I must imagine the pleasures that may await me, work towards them, and let them, in the meantime, comfort me. I must dream.