I am sitting in a beautiful room overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We are at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay. Adrienne is across from me in a white robe. We’ve eaten our favorite foods: pate, olives, cheese and cured meat. Besides going to town for provisions, (I may be staying at the Ritz, but I refuse to pay $6 for a bottle of Pepsi), we have hardly left the room. Later we’ll go to the beach to watch the sunset.
Thanks to all of you who contributed to our “Hawaii” fund. I am too sick to make the trip. The idea of going to the airport was too overwhelming. So instead, we are here. Better than Hawaii. Thank you.
There are so many ideas in my head about what to write about. I have a list. A lot of them are very sad. But I am not feeling sad today.
Physically, I am worse every day. Have you ever had heat stroke or been severely dehydrated? A long time ago when I was a forest firefighter, my crew was sent on a very long walk into a fire. The temperature was over one hundred degrees as we trudged toward the fire wearing boots, wool socks, pants, a long sleeved shirt, hard hats, a backpack and our utility belts. We stopped to rest and I burst into tears. Something felt wrong all over my body, but I had no way to describe it.
Dying feels like that; every day I feel a little worse, but I can’t articulate how. The pain also grows everyday. I’m up to two Norco’s, (twice the Vicodin, half the Tylenol), every four hours. And at three and a half, I’m looking at the clock. Dying is visual as well. If I didn’t have cancer, I’d say I was at my ideal weight. The weight loss started pretty quick. If I get high, I can eat a fair amount of calories, but soon I’ll be underweight.
I sleep a lot. I try to be awake when the kids are around, but even then I do need to rest. I know that is hard on them, it means I’m getting sicker.
There are a lot of things I can’t do anymore: dishes, laundry, shop, change a light bulb, bring in firewood, and on and on. But you know me, the glass all the way full guy, I decided to think about all the things I still can do: go to a fancy hotel, eat, take a bath, sit in my chair, write, help the kids with homework, be with Adrienne, and go to the bathroom by myself (!),
My emotional state is up and down. I can’t even trust myself to be left alone; I spiral into a sadness that is hard to get out of. Another reason why Adrienne is so excellent; she is always with me. The sadness is tempered by a strong feeling that everything is happening as it is supposed to.
Dying is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But sitting here in this room, I am more content than I probably have ever been. I think about one of my favorite song lyrics, “Life I love you, all is groovy.”