There are a lot of dark, foreboding moments when you are living with metastatic breast cancer. There is no way to describe the feeling that comes over you when you are hit with the realization that you have this incurable disease, and death is stalking you. I am pretty good at overcoming the doom and gloom, but frankly, there are some deep, dark thoughts that occasionally invade my mind.
I Think About Dying
There are those moments when I really understand that death is imminent. There is no cure at this time; this cancer could kill me. I am constantly thinking about the fabulous women who have already died from breast cancer. My thoughts are only tempered by my faith in Jesus Christ. He truly gives me hope and restores my joy. I pray and meditate often to counter the depressing darkness that comes with these thoughts. It has kept the depression away.
I also remind myself that dying would really be inconvenient right now. I am just not prepared — there is still a whole basement full of stuff I need to organize, and my family can’t seem to function well without me.
I Wonder What Will Happen to My Stuff
I used to love to collect certain things and enjoyed displaying them. When I was first diagnosed and had to spend almost a month in the hospital, one of my thoughts was about that whole basement full of stuff I had to deal with. It would be embarrassing to leave it for my family and friends to go through and see all the crap I kept.
Slowly, I have been trying to organize my stuff and weed things out. I am better able to deal with the sentimentality of items, knowing we may be separated sooner than expected.
Now when I am shopping, I often ask myself before I make a purchase if it’s something that someone else could use or will want when I am gone. Since I have two boys, a lot of the girly stuff gets left on the shelves.
I Am Reminded That My Time May Be Limited
I don’t have a bucket list, but I do spend more time doing the things I love. When an opportunity comes up to travel or do something I enjoy, I no longer put it off. Waiting until next year is no longer an option.
When I was renewing my (Canadian) passport, the agent asked if I wanted it for 5 years or 10. I was just about to tell her that I didn’t want to pay for 10 years since I might not even be around for 5. But when I realized 10 years was only a few dollars more, I couldn’t resist the bargain. Now I have no choice but to live at least another 10 years so I can get my money’s worth!
I Choose Light Over Darkness
Dealing with terminal cancer invades your relationships, your work, and your thoughts — it is inevitable. Strength and courage comes in living and thriving in spite of this. I am grateful that the light in my life overshadows the darkness.