“I’d be afraid of the pain.”
Thats what my friend from support group said, when we talked about getting spiritual guidance. She was worried about the pain.
Surprisingly, I hadn’t even considered the pain that could come from a death by cancer. Especially surprising given that I’ve been dealing with a not insignificant amount of pain the last month. Not enjoying it either.
In general, I feel mostly at peace with the idea of dying. Sometimes I wonder if I am too resigned to the idea. I am kind of a realist, so I feel it is important for me to accept what is happening – I have cancer. It will kill me eventually. But at the same time, I feel positively enough about my life that I’m not rushing to meet death. I want to milk the time I have for all it is worth.
Some days the pain makes that difficult. Tuesday was a bad day. I started taking painkillers soon after waking up, but never quite caught up with the pain. I went to my other support group that day and just felt pitiful and sorry for myself.
The days since have been much better. My inlaws have been visiting and I’ve found their companionship to be both enjoyable and comforting – much more than I ever would have expected.
I haven’t done much creative work this week, visitors and all, but it seems like I’m starting to get out of my emotional funk, and that feels terrific.
After reading a blog post about solo hiking today, I spent a smidgen of time feeling sorry for myself that I won’t be able to hike the PCT, and instead started planning where I’ll take my inlaws tomorrow for a picnic lunch. My body won’t let me do all I want to do, but it can’t stop me from getting out there. Not yet.
I’m still not bothered by the idea of a painful death. Maybe I have faith in the state of palliative care. Maybe I just like to ignore the idea. My main worries about dying lie not in the process I’ll experience, but with those I’ll leave behind. I continue to grieve for my kids and for not being able to be the mom I always thought I’d be – one like my mother, always there to support her kids, no matter how grown up they are.
Maybe I should look into some spiritual guidance in that area after all.