It hit me for the first time yesterday. The reality of how little time I may have should my wife and I make the decision I expect us to make soon. I knew it intellectually, but hadn't felt it emotionally since my consultation with my oncologist on Tuesday. I was the one assuring all of my friends that I'm okay. And until yesterday, I was. Until the storm hit.
Until yesterday, my spirits were high. I was consoling friends, telling them how sorry I am to see how my news affects them. One of our friends asked a couple of times how my wife and I are doing, and I assured her we're fine. That night, my wife and I were having frank discussions about the future, and neither of us were crying or sad. It was very matter-of-fact. I told her about our friend's question, and she said she'll be fine "until the crap show starts." Well, it didn't officially start yesterday, but I think they're gonna start the previews soon.
I've been very busy, what with tearing my recording studio down and preparing to sell my gear, medical appointments, (which will continue) starting the summer concert season with the rock band school, and another musical project I can't talk about yet. So my wife and I haven't had as much time lately as we'd like to just be together and have a fun retirement.
But yesterday was carved out to do something both of us really enjoy; spending the day in our favorite spot at a local state park and reservoir. We take a picnic lunch and set up on the beach there with our dog. We usually stay five or six hours, until mid-afternoon, when here in Denver, Colorado, the weather tends to roll in. It makes for a fun, relaxing day. Just the kind of thing you picture yourself doing when you're retired. Taking it easy.
For the first couple of hours, it was great. The weather was nice, the water was peaceful, and we pretty much had that part of the beach to ourselves. But we could see rain clouds coming towards us from the west. Our reservoir day might be cut short.
The weather hit much earlier than normal, around 12:30 PM. It got windy and grew darker. It's been very hot here lately, so I was dressed for hot weather, not for this. We tried covering up with a blanket and riding it out, hoping it would blow over. Our poor dog was huddled under our chairs, trembling with fear. She doesn't do well with bad weather, especially thunder, which rumbled in the distance.
The worse the weather got, the worse my mood got. I became morose, and began crying. It seemed like a metaphor to me. We're trying to enjoy our lives, but the storm always seems to sweep over us, ruining our plans.
In the end, it wasn't really much of a storm. Hardly what you'd call a deluge. Just a little squall. But it was enough to shatter my unnatural upbeatness over the past few days.
The seriousness of the decision we must make is ever before me. I'd say it's already been made, and it pretty much has been made, but a lot can happen in the next two months. If you've been following along, you probably know what that decision will be.
I feel better this morning. The storm passed, and so did my dark mood. On Monday, I'll get a new bone scan and CT scan. The purpose of the bone scan is to see if the cancer has spread farther on my bones, and the CT scan is to see if it's spread anywhere else. I wonder how I'll take it if my skeleton lights up like a Christmas tree, as my oncologist expects it to. I'm sure I'll be fine at first, maybe my head will be spinning a little, but emotionally, I'll be fine. And then some random event will bring it home to me.
I keep seeing that "I am the storm" meme, but that's not how I feel. In the face of this deranged cancer, I feel much more like my dog, trembling with fear under a chair when the wind blows, the rain falls, and the thunder rumbles. At least that's how I felt yesterday.
I know that I could defy all odds, even if I decide to refuse treatment. God could decide to keep me around for a long time. But that's not what's likely to happen. I have yet to defy the odds so far.
Time is of the essence. I need to be mindful of how I spend my time from now on. If I want to spend my time with you, it's the highest compliment I can give. Time is the most precious thing I have. Because the storm is coming. And the crap show is coming soon to a blog near you. #waroncancer #bearingwitness