I have spent a lot of the past few weeks coming to grips with where my life will lead. I made the mistake of looking up survivorship rates for metastatic colon cancer (11% 5-year survivorship). It was a hard hit. It was a tough sense of reality. I try to remind myself that a lot of the 89% that don’t survive are farther along in the disease than I am. A lot of them are WAYYYY older than me and have other health problems. A lot of them don’t have the strong desire to live. So all those things are in my favor plus my very favorable response to treatment. Most don’t see the results I have been having.
That being said, I have to be realistic about what my future will possibly hold. I need to be accepting of the fact that I may be killed by this disease way before my time. And honestly, coming to grips with it is tough but in the long run it is making things easier. I am not just brushing things off to the side. I am not being an ostrich with my head in the sand. I am facing it head on.
The hard part is that those around me don’t want to be realistic about what could happen. They don’t want to believe that in a few years I may not be around. And I can’t fault them for that (heck I would be upset if they were cheering at that option). But the truth is that I need people to be accepting of what may happen. I need those around me to be realistic about what my life might contain. I need that level of support.
When people that I love only want to see the potential miracle and don’t want to talk about the other options of how this will end, it makes it harder for me to be honest about what I am going through. It makes me that much less likely to say what is weighing on my heart or running through my brain. And there is a lot going on in there. Oh my is there a lot going on in there.
I am starting to work on a Will to protect my kid’s future. Plus, I need to identify where my pets will go so they can have a good life too. I need to have an advanced directive written up. Who is going to speak for me? Who is going to make sure that I only receive the medical treatments that I want? What are going to happen to all the family heirlooms I have been lovingly collecting my whole life? Where am I going to live if I can no longer work? How can I make sure my kid has the best life possible? How can I give her the most memories possible so that she will always have that with her?
I need to talk about these things. I do not have a spouse to share with. It is just me and kiddo. I cannot and will not discuss this with Kiddo yet. I am still fully functioning. She doesn’t need that weight. But I need those around me to be able and willing to speak with me on these things. I need to work them through. I know it is hard for them. It is easier on the heart to not process this. But when I am asked what I need, this is what I need. I need people willing to sit with me and talk with me through these massive decisions. Because the truth is, once I have these things decided, I will have a huge weight off my shoulders. I can live in a sense of peace knowing that it has been taken care of. I can rest easy knowing that if the worst were to happen, I have made it as easy as possible on my family. I have made it something clear and concise so they don’t need to worry about what I want. I will have it all spelled out.
But I need to bounce ideas. I need to process this. It is a lot and painful, but it is a reality with where my life is right now. And I want to make these decisions now. I want to put this “to bed” so I can go on having lots of fun. It gives me peace of mind.
I know I am asking for the hardest thing from those I love. I truly understand that. But this is what I need the most right now so I can move past this phase. I need to know I have given my loved ones all the tools needed to make difficult decisions easier.
I love you all. I really love you all. Thank you so much! I am not saying any of this with sadness. I am saying this with acceptance of reality and with peace of mind. Thank you again and again!