I spent some time in bed this morning imagining a world where I declined chemotherapy. (My therapist says I perhaps have too much imagination, I point out that I am a paid professional imaginator.) I imagined not going in to the hospital this morning for more surgery, to have a port implanted in my chest. I imagined not lying in the big chair every two weeks and poisoning myself close to death so the cancer cells would die just a little faster. I imagined not ravaging my body, my mind and my spirit. I imagined not making my private hero’s journey through the dark underground of cytotoxic drugs and spear wounds in my side. Then I imagined the tumors coming back and back and back, as they have proven they can and will do.
I’m not having adjuvant chemo. We don’t have a tumor to target. This entire course of treatment is speculative. Maybe if we do this, it won’t come back. Maybe if we don’t do this, it will come back. Maybe I can live to see my daughter graduate from high school, maybe I can live to love the people in my life and write the books in my soul and see another 10,000 sunrises. Maybe I can not spend my life wandering from opiate haze to chemo daze.
But I will never again be who I was.
Today, I will be an unconscious, naked person whose neck and chest are being opened, to spare the already troubled veins in my arms months of abuse.
Do I embrace this? No.
Do I fear this? Yes.
Do I do this anyway? Of course.
Still, there are some merit badges you never want to earn in this life.
Watch this blog and/or my Twitter feed for surgery updates.