In my dying, socializing asks more of me than I can often give. Like love, death is bigger than us. I am discovering that my end-of-life journey requires different energy and rhythms from my previous life patterns. I also do not desire your reassurance to “feel better” about my health situation, nor am I in a position to shoulder your grief.
My husband estimates that my innate worth has grown 47 cents due to the three new tiny gold seeds in my head (probably as close as I’ll ever get to wearing a tinfoil hat). This metal trio is smaller than rice and glued onto my skull to help point the radiation beam to the correct spot in my brain. My husband was delighted that the doctor jokingly said he could bring his own drill along.
Our Kids’ Almanac columnist Erica Chase-Salerno tells what it’s like to live when you know that you are dying.
When it comes to information about my condition, I don’t want story – I want science! Seeing the screen myself, I was able to integrate the doctor’s reporting with actual numbers along with visuals.
Making arrangements for what happens to one’s body after death is difficult, but, once complete, the feeling is liberating.
A friend sent me this question: “What would the You of today tell the ‘pre-Head On, Heart Strong’ You? Here goes.
I wonder what kinds of questions are on your mind about my Stage IV breast cancer experience: diagnoses, treatments, loss, end-of-life, appointments, mint chocolate chip milkshakes (#obsessed), daily life et cetera? Here are some questions that I’ve received from friends.
“I don’t want to say the wrong thing,” people confess when I run into them in town. Or, “Don’t focus on… that [dying]…stay positive and you’ll get through!” I get it.
One of my doctors asked if I have a list of things I’d like to do or see before I pass. To her surprise, I responded immediately: “Yes! I want to clean out my basement!”
It’s not everyone’s way, not everyone’s choice. And I resist offering advice now, more than ever. What might be a throwaway conversation to me could be a real curveball to you. My goal is simply to See You and to Hear You before sharing myself.