Thursday, October 20, 2005

On Needles and Pen, part deux

A few weeks ago I shared with you the details of a biopsy mission up my tailpipe. I promised you I'd report on the results. Here we go:


Today I was told I have cancer of the Prostate.
Calmly, clinically, they added, “but don’t worry—it’s treatable.” As if that makes it all better, like an emotional band aide to take away the sting.
Or the terror.
Only it doesn’t work, because cancer has always been the death sentence…sooner or later, treatable or not.

I don’t fear death, really.
My spirit is going to live on, and I know that my body will die, along with the assorted aches, pains, and nuisances I’ve acquired over the last half-century of life.

My mind runs at hyper-speed now, however. Revving to think thoughts I haven’t thought of thinking, so that I can get them all in before…you know.

Things I will not miss about being alive:
No more CPAP to breathe through the night
No more seasonal allergies
No more sore joints in the morning, with those first, painful steps from the bed to the bath
No more 3am wake-up calls for work
Winter (I hate Winter)
Insufferable bores and general Pretense
Brushing my teeth, a necessary chore that I detest
Shaving; ditto
Taxes, that other thing you can always depend on

Things I have thought about about the Afterlife:
Will Jesus take me home with Him?
Will I again see my grandparents and those childhood friends that were taken early?
Will I know when my grandchildren are born, and will I know when my children have finished their time on earth?

Questions I’d like to ask Those Who’ve Gone on Before:
Adam, what were you thinking?
Lot’s Wife, what were you thinking?
Esau, what were you thinking?
Amelia, what really happened?
Lee Oswald—come on, three shots in 17-seconds with that rifle?

People I hope I don’t run into in The Hereafter:
Lee Oswald
John Wilkes Boothe
Anyone from Sodom and Gomorrah
That snake man

It’s curious how your perspectives and priorities change when you are jerked short with the realization you’re not immortal. Oh, I’ll still have the yard mowed regularly, and will continue to wash the car (as long as I am able.)

But I’m not going to win the Nobel Prize for inventing a money-making use for recycled CD singles, and I probably won’t ever fit into those pants again, so clearing out a lot of unnecessary clutter is going to be a little easier.

Shelf-life longer than mine? It’s outta here.

The pain I am feeling (just a dull ache—enough to remind me something is down there) is not so much physical as it is a certain heartsickness.

I don’t want my wife to be sad and alone (I don’t particularly want to know if she throws a party, either!)

I’m not thrilled about leaving my children this soon—I really wanted to meet their mates, and no promising candidates have appeared. I am confident that they will be successful in life, however.

I am particularly saddened to think that my parents might have to see me buried. That’s just not fair. My siblings, I know, will look out for my family—I am the oldest, and that I should go first should not be surprising. It’s just the timing that sucks a little…and I’m really not even sure of that.

That’s the way life is.
You’re never really sure, because there are no promises.
Except one: Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
All else is Vanity.
And that’s how you keep your sanity.

I am going to continue to post my progress into this new phase of my life. Check back here in a few days for more details.

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