Much to my dismay, I found out this last week that the Grim Reaper may still be on my tail. It is not exactly a surprise. I’ve seen him out of the corner of my eye for months now, lurking in shadowy places where my thoughts don’t normally like to go. He has shown himself more fully this last week because I have tri-/quad-annual MRI appointment scheduled for tomorrow. If the results show that cancer is growing in my brain, then things will change drastically for me. If not, then I will continue in the suspended bliss of an additional 3-4 month period, ineffectively dodging the reality of my ever-present, grim friend.
Apparently I still desperately need the creative therapy that blogging allows, because over the last three days I’ve felt a constant itch to be working these thoughts out via the keyboard. There is a mathematical formula present here: the less I type, the more I see the Grim Reaper’s shadow creeping up from behind me. Whereas the more I write, the less afraid I am. Perhaps it is the sifting and re-settling of emotions, or the ability to do something—anything—that provides this relief. Either way, even as I type this, I feel more able to cope with the awful reality that I have a cancer of the brain, and thus there are physical, mental, and emotional consequences. You’d think I would have figured this out by now.
But you see, the awful truth is that even with all the wonderful life-affirming experiences I’ve had over the last few months, I am still afraid of death—especially the suffering that would precede it. At these most piquant moments of fear, I can only catch hold of the spiritual assurance that I know I will be fine. Thank goodness for that, or I would really be swimming. There is a second truth that becomes clear to me now, though: I really don’t want to have to suffer (at all) in order to keep living. I’d like to escape chemotherapy and radiation forever, thank you very much. The tantrum-throwing part of me asks why there should have to be this price just for living. Nobody else has to do chemo, why should I? My grand sense of entitlement refuses to believe that life can’t be “fair.”
So, I need a plan by which I will escape the consequences of my fear, if not the cancer itself, at least. I probably won’t know the results until my follow-up appointment until the 6th of December. Until then, I hope to write incessantly. I will also read my scriptures or a conference talk every day. I will eat more fruits and vegetables than ever before. Possibly I will also get out my SAD lamp, which will hopefully not give me a headache from its blinding brightness. All these evasive tactics I will use to my great advantage and defense. The question is whether these things will enable me to dodge the Reaper’s sickle for so long. Two weeks, oh horror!