[cancer] Forget Roger Daltrey, I hope I get old before I die

Yesterday was ok. came over and kept an eye on me, which is often needful Monday and Tuesday post-infusion, as I tend to be wobbly on concepts like “eating”. made it back late last night from San Francisco, long after I’d gone deep asleep.

I am feeling better. One of the ways I cope with bad stuff (for example, the 40% possibility of further metastasis) is by running to the dark edge and kicking a few rocks over. This can be mistaken by the casual observer for wallowing or obsessive negativity, but I think of it more as beating the bounds. Know where the borders of fear are, then go back to my center and keep an eye out.

In the mean time, I’ve made an ophthalmological appointment to go with my various cancer followups, dental appointment and foot appointment. Colonscopy scheduler is supposed to call me today or tomorrow. So, assuming I don’t have foot cancer, glaucoma, rotten teeth, recurrent metastases or an aggressive return of my primary cancer, I’ll be fine for a while. Getting all this done before heading for Australia and New Zealand in late August with so I can travel with as much peace of mind as can be brought to bear.

It is true, in a deep sense, that I no longer expect to live to be old. When I say this, I don’t mean, “ZOMG, I’m going to die!!!” Rather, I used to just unthinkingly assume I’d tick along into my 70s or something then deal with the issues of ailments and eldering. Now I recognize that each day, each year, is a gift. Time is something I will never get back. My personal clock echoes very loudly in my soul.

Another truth is that even if I lived to be 112 in perfect health, I’d never accomplish everything I’d like to. This seems like a liberating insight to me. I am free from at least certain expectations. This lets me focus on what I want to do, and sometimes (such as chemotherapy) what I have to do.

So I don’t think I’m going to live to be old. I just think I’m going to live. If I get old in the bargain, well, bonus. If not, every day between now and whenever the ride ends is a good day. Somehow.

5 thoughts on “[cancer] Forget Roger Daltrey, I hope I get old before I die

  1. That IS a very liberating insight, that we shall not live to accomplish all we wish to–I am not there yet, since I have a ‘day job’ progress seems so very slow. Many MANY years to you–it sometimes does take something very drastic to allow us to see this.

  2. Amy Thomson says:

    Look on the bright side, Buddhist monks meditate for YEARS to achieve an acceptance of their mortality. All it took you was 12 weeks of chemo. [insert irony here]

  3. pelican says:

    That’s been the first gift of turning 40 for me- no matter how lucky I get in the genetic lottery going forward, there is never going to be enough time to do, see, and be everything I’d like to do, see, and be. Freeing in some ways, but constricting in others.

  4. Jan says:

    I feel for you Jay. I am on the 5 year plan (just passed one year) though my recurrance rate is much lower than yours it still makes you take notice. Yes each day is a blessing and enjoy each one fully. A life well lived is better than a life lived long. Though I hope we both live fully AND long!

  5. Logan Ogborn says:

    [cancer] Forget Roger Daltrey, I hope I get old before I die | jlake.com was a wonderful read. You really out done yourself! I’m so new to this stuff, you make it so newbie like myself can easly wrap their heads around it, thanks!

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