Posted by: jeanne | December 1, 2010

aches and pains

rereading renee’s blog has made me think over some things, namely death and dying.  how someone so vibrant and important to those around her can just tank and die.  we don’t understand death.  we’re around it so little.

i got to see our cat die a couple of years ago.  the dogs got to her and left her in the leaves when we chased them off.  i picked her up and brought her inside, and stroked her fur as her breathing grew labored and started to rattle.  then she let out a breath, and never took another one, but since her breathing had been ragged, it took a long time for me to be sure she wasn’t going to start breathing again.

we never see death in our society.  but i would really rather be conscious of the whole thing, and not rely on getting hit by a bus.

renee had been feeling aches and pains for half a year.  she finally figured, oh it must be stomach cancer, and tried to ignore it, but it kept getting worse, and when she started chemo, the shock was enough to spiral her down to death.

i’ve been feeling aches and pains for years.  but so has my mom, a gifted amateur hypochondriac, and she’ll never die.  that’s the thing about aches and pains.  usually they’re not cancer.  they’re usually aches and pains associated with getting old and creaky.  but for someone who’s already had cancer, aches and pains are the beginnings of the next bout.  your only variety is in figuring out which form of cancer, which organ.  a blend of places, like my maternal grandma who had it everywhere when she died.

in using renee’s final illness and passing as my reference material for the story i’m going to write, i am skirting my own karma.  one shouldn’t write one’s own death, unless one is a very bad writer.

my friend dave writes people’s futures for them.  what i mean is that he fictionalizes his friends and carries their characters forward.  and his friends follow in that direction.  he wrote my life with jim for me.  thanks dave.

it’s hard to write my projected death, even disguised as someone who’s already died, especially when my early symptoms are so very metastatic.  bone aches, restless legs, nausea, diarrhea, difficulty thinking, fatigue.  these could be the symptoms of several different locations of new tumors.  and i’ve got to go into a psyche already scared of dying in pain, and poke around with a dental pick.  how’s that feel?  what’s that awaken inside?  tell me about your worst nightmare…

so i’m feeling my aches and pains, which in fact are worse than they have been, and all of a sudden worse, since i got back from my travels.  and i’m trying not to depress over them, obsess over them, not to think every time i feel a sore lymph node that it’s finally starting up again.

because that’s a bad way to feel and think.  positive thinking really works, but only as well as chemo.  it gives you extra time, makes the effort feel worthwhile, gives you a chance to exercise your newfound belief that your life is wonderful and precious no matter what you thought before you got cancer.

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