Last night while watching the second new episode of Scrubs, I got struck by how having kidney cancer has affected me. The main patient of the episode was dying, and he knew it. The conversations he had with JD and Turk about the fear and the not knowing struck me hard.
Ever since September when we found out I had a mass on my right kidney, then that it was cancer, I have thought about death and dying a lot. Mainly about how I very much want to live another 40 or 50 years but also of whether or not I would be able to accept my death.
Now, I did some of the responsible things writing out my wishes for a funeral, writing a will*, letting Tony and my sister Mary know what to do if I didn’t wake up from the surgery, and/or if the cancer had already spread so I wouldn’t have to deal with it then. I cried the whole time I was doing all of this. Hell, there are tears running down my face now but this is something I need to write.
Needless to say this has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Just writing out things like: Put me in capri pants and a sleeveless top, no bra and no shoes and if I am going to be a vegetable let me g0, have been harder than you could imagine. And, yes, what I want to be buried in is that, as those are the clothes I have always been the most comfortable in. I am not ready to die, the thought of not being here with Tony and not seeing my nephews and niece grow up hurts me to the core of my being.
Living is where I am focused now, though. I made it through the surgery, as far as we know the cancer had not spread anywhere. Hopefully, I will live much longer than the statistics for kidney cancer show. I am fighting to get healthier, losing weight, eating better, staying away from caffeine and sodium. Living is what I want, what I need to do.
I will live that is. There is no if, there is only must.