In the beginning
My intention for this blog is to give an insight into the life and thought processes of someone who is terminally ill, deemed incurable but without a specific execution date. As medical research advances, more of us who have been deemed incurable can claim extended life on death row courtesy of new drugs. They will not cure us but they can prolong our lives, by weeks, months or years, depending on the individual biochemical makeup.
Apart from the rollator I now use because of balance and fatigue issues, I have glowing skin, a blush of health on my cheeks and walk for around an hour a day. I am the healthiest looking dead woman walking you could ever imagine. Yet that belies the war going on inside me, the battle for my life, drugs versus a very aggressive kidney cancer. Then there are the side effects of the medication which are medicated in their turn producing yet more side effects, some of which might kill me faster than the cancer itself. Ah the joys of being the walking dead, not as glamorous as some popular television programs would have you believe.
I have officially been walking the death walk since a day in late September 2009 when I was given my diagnosis of renal cell carcinoma, clear cell variety and deadly except when it is found early. Sadly my tumor was found about eight years too late and occupied a large part of the centre of my kidney spreading out in a long snake like extension into the vena cava and all the way up into the lower right chamber of my heart. Funny story about that diagnosis is that it came from a lung consultant I was referred to for what a haematology consultant thought might be a choice of cancer, tuberculosis or an autoimmune disease. Try taking your pick from that trio.
I jump ahead of myself but this is just an outline, a taster for the story I will tell over the next 31 days of October. This is my variation on the theme of the challenge to write a poem every day for this month.
I have been given three words to write this poem to : chrysalis, butterfly, transformation. Ah, hah, just perfect for writing a poem about dying. However as you will learn over the next month if you bear with me, dying is a form of shedding an old form and transforming into something different. It is also a setting free of so many thoughts, beliefs and assumptions. I will stay away from religion but I might stray into a kind of spiritual musing as I explore this change with you. I am open about where it will take me and I hope you will be too.