Recently I’ve watched several people I never met die from pancreatic cancer, stage 4.
I felt close to them because we all shared the same disease. One person was Alex Trebeck, whom I believe many people shared the same sense that they lost a good friend. Another was RGB, an American icon. The final, a regular person, like me. The most amazing connection was how quickly each of them turned from seeming to feel okay to miserable to gone. Pancreatic cancer is a swift killer.
About the same time I’d been working hard to embrace the “life of slow”, a terrible case of “feeling very miserable” set in. I was provided an extended stay in the hospital to gain yet another stent in my apparent quest to become bionic, and received antibiotics to deal with a serious bacteria infection.
I came home, but I wasn’t getting well; Every day I felt a little worse and couldn’t get a handle on it.
So, I began to wonder if this was the beginning of the end. The good part is that… I was ready. It would have been okay. I think that if you have a disease that you know is going to end your life at some point, you can come to terms with that. If you don’t have that disease, I suspect it’s hard to imagine how that is possible.
Of course I’d like to survive this pandemic and be able to dance in the streets! I’d love to see my granddaughter grow and thrive in the world. My three boys are living good lives and I’d like to see all the places they will go. I’d like a few more walks in the woods with my husband. But we don’t have control of what we will and will not be able to do, so I’m okay. Too many people have had their lives ripped away from them suddenly from Covid, so I’m really okay.
I still have lots of hope for myself and everyone I love, I have faith in what will be and I feel surrounded by love. After cleaning out closets, pre-confirming funeral plans and organizing finances, those three (faith, hope and love) are all that matter now.
Fortunately, my doctor had a few more tricks up his sleeve, so I’m back to wandering slowly around the neighborhood with my dog and calling it a walk. I’m feeling slightly less miserable.
Feeling the need for my small immediate family to be together on the Thanksgiving holiday this one last time, we are going to gather, probably eating outside and chatting from afar wrapped in lots and lots of layers. We will be super careful because we all hope to gather again for Christmas and want to make sure everyone will still be here.