It needs to be okay to die.
In the vastness of this forum and everything written I am sure this has been covered, but I don't have the patience to search, so I'm just going to write.
It's about dying.
It's about how you're walking through the garden of life then you step on a rake and it flies up into your face, just like in the cartoons we watched as kids, only this time it bloodies your nose, smashes your teeth, splits your lip and sends your glasses flying. Cancer is the rake handle that smashes you in the face as you're enjoying the garden. It shocks you, bruises you, makes you wonder who left that damn rake laying there?! But for me, my breast cancer was accompanied by the reality of my own death. It was my mortality, my limited being, my time is up that flew up out of the green grass and bashed me in the face. I have been knocked flat by it.
I'm afraid to die.
I don't want to die.
Everyone tells me I will have a long life and I know this is a kindness, an act of compassion, but I also know that it is as likely to be not true as true.
As I write this, I am embroiled in another cancer scare. An ultrasound following a sudden and tsunami like bleeding event , says blah, blah, bad news, bad news, alarming finding most likely malignancy.
Now I'm mad. With my 2017 breast cancer I was bewildered, shocked, sucker punched, utterly disoriented. But I did not ask 'why me'? I figured, why not me? But this time...I've given you my pound of flesh, Cancer God, I've bled on your filthy alter. I've sacrificed my sense of safety in life, my ignorant bliss that dying happened to other people. You've had your piece of me, so why can't you slink back down the stink hole you slithered out of and stay away from me and from everyone? Insatiable pig of a disease.
As I wait for biopsies and results, bracing for bad news, I have been destroyed. Obliterated. Anxiety? The word anxiety cannot describe the body bending, smile stealing, breath crushing, hand shaking, gut clenching, state of staggering and crying that I have been experiencing. Grief, grief like a hot blade to the gut, at the thought that this bitch of a disease is going to take me away from everything. Away from my Husband, my child, my mom, my friends, my garden, my love of coffee...... death takes everything. Everything. And the thought of it paralyzes me with a fear as black as the universe.
I have been in this state for almost 2 weeks and today the non-eating, non-sleeping shaking, staggering just got to me and I had a thought that I have to be ready to die. IT has to be okay to die. I have to organize and prepare to die.
I don't know how. But I must. Because ONLY in saying that it's okay to die will it ever be okay to live. In some weird way it seems that hanging on to life is keeping me a prisoner of death. Of that fear and overwhelming grief.
Today was a beautiful day. The sun was out, the trees are promising to green. My old dog is asleep on the lawn. How is it that all this exquisite perfection could be denied me and me flicked off like a switch? Click. Gone forever. On days like today I feel my gut rally some form of bravery and hope. But I know, I KNOW, that in some office with a lab coat across from me, or in this time of covid a phone call, will deliver news that throws me right back to the clawing hordes of hell, to rip at me with their sharp nails of fear, grief and terror. This terror and distress floats off me like a cloud and chokes everyone around me.
I want to be okay to die. I want to die in a way that does not make it hard for everyone else. I want to accept that my life is not likely to be long. That I've been given the memo and yeah, we all could die every day, but most of us don't actively have that in our morning cup of coffee like cancer people do. It's in your face. Like the rake handle. And you can't pretend it isn't. I have to find a way to let this go. To live, come what may. I am not a person of faith, I don't know what I believe, but I did shoot a prayer out into the void and ask, please, Whoever, help me not be so failed about this. I need some acceptance, some philosophy, some ease in my own demise. I NEED IT. It's the only way to free myself from this impending doom, fear and suffering. It has to be okay to die. I must accept that I am going to die and it must be no big deal. How?
This uterine thing might turn out to be nothing. But I kind of think that's wishful thinking and false hope and I think false hope is a nasty bitch, so I avoid it.
Here, you may say how you are getting ready to die. Here you may say what you fear. Maybe the fear can't even be put in words. Some of you might have faith. Some not. But if you have arrived at a place of peace and acceptance with death, if it holds no terror or fear for you, how. What is the thought process you employed? What is the mental battle you do everyday to stay okay with your eventual death so that you may turn most of your energy to living your present life? You do not need to be stage 4 to post. All people die. Stage 4 most likely have a lot of wisdom to contribute. But fear is fear, grief is grief, loss is loss. Weigh in. There is no right or wrong. There is just all of us struggling and then finally ending up at the same place eventually : dead. I want to arrive there on my own terms, back straight, calm, not screaming in terror, refusal and rage like I am now.