November 22nd, 2009:
Often when I haven't posted anything for several days, it means that a lot is going on. Sometimes not. This time, a lot is going on. Last Sunday, I was shaving at the sink in my room and apparently the tumor had grown so large that I heard a loud SNAP, followed by small pain. My tumor had broken through thigh muscles, tendons, cartilage. Since then, I've had much reduced mobility. My most frequent place is on top of my bed with a pillow support under my right leg. I use the walker to get to the computer across the room. Wheeling in a wheel chair gets my to lunch and dinner. I have now taken to breakfast in bed; it's just easier that way as I'm first waking up.
Curiously, this has furthered a long-range goal of mine which is to have fewer visitors. Along with less mobility, I have also had less energy. I think I've claimed that I have a vision for the end of my life where I spend many hours on the bed, casting about in my mind for places to go, places to land. I want to just BE.
This new solitude will be the opposite of how I've lived most of my life. From a very young age as the healer in my family, I learned to say, "I'll be supportive and protective of you and then you'll love me." Of course, no one ever signed this contract or knew that it existed, but it has served me for six decades. Now, I am drafting a different contract. I've been describing it as moving the battleship 180 degrees; takes time; doesn't happen on a dime. A friend described it as: I am in my bedroom, and I am packing for a very long journey. I have some clothes on the bed and all my suitcases are opened to be packed. I know where all my clothes are in their closets and where other clothes are in chests of drawers. I am the only one who can pack effectively. This isn't about asking for help to get ready for the journey.
It also means that all of us, me and my friends will undergo a deep change of how we experience each other. One person said: " Doesn't matter to me. I have deeply experienced you. I am done. If I never see you again, I have full memories of what we were to each other and how we loved each other. Those are strong memories. More would be nice, but not necessary." There is no right way. Also, there is the vast amount of work and memory that many people are doing off the dying that I face. They are reliving their grandmother's death many years ago. They are reliving not being able to grieve. Many experiences of death are converging at this time, and there's nothing I can do about that other than acknowledge that yes it is all happening and some of it's mine and some of it's yours and it can all be very personal and intimate and unwanted and part of our growth as an extended friendship.
What will it feel like to lie on my bed and roam my mind? I'm curious. Very curious. As I find out, I'll let you know. Certainly it's part of the unique awareness that's shaping my end of life. It's so interesting to find the unexpected shift into new ways of being at the end of my life. But, here we are.