It’s a part of the roller-coaster ride of brain cancer…feeling your mortality vividly in every cell of your body one day and then completely forgetting you’re fighting a likely deadly illness the next. (Remember: ‘We know how you’re going to die, we just don’t know when’)
When I feel my mortality: I avoid commitments further than 12 weeks in the future. I think it would be silly to buy new shoes. I take therapeutic yoga classes because I need to move, but don’t have energy for more. I ignore the messes piling up around me. I smile at the wonder of small things. I cry harder at the tragedy of loss – or Hallmark commercials. I feel less motivated to do, to be – recklessly forgetting that I have interests, hobbies, friends. I crawl into my shell a little deeper, building a wall against the fear – unconsciously preparing others for the inevitability of my absence. I selfishly savor every breath, every moment of quiet, every touch of my family, every word spoken, every word read.
On the days when I forget about the beast, I feel invincible. I think more clearly. I find more inspiration in every moment, every interaction, every ray of sunshine or drop of rain. I plan for the things I can do with my officially unemployed time – volunteering, writing, making and maybe even earning. I dream of trips yet to be taken, experiences yet to be had. I make lists of books that NEED to be read. I drink a cocktail with a giant ice cube. I anxiously await the release of a movie or show I want to see – next year. I walk taller and quicker and believe I can go to a regular yoga class attended by people my own age. I clean, do laundry and garden with efficiency. I think the callouses on my heels are a big issue that needs addressing – promptly. I spend my time imagining the endless possibilities and conjuring up grand ideas. I selfishly savor every breath, every moment of quiet, every touch of my family, every word spoken, every word read.