Based on some of the emails and blog comments I received, I want to clear something up. I’m not actually being all that morbid right now. Though I have my feelings I’m not going to survive this cancer, I do not have anything like a terminal diagnosis, nor am I behaving as if my death is imminent. The remarks about having my own funeral were a ‘what if’, or perhaps a ‘when if’, remark.
As I said yesterday in a blog comment, the most likely next steps for me in this cancer are about an even split between a respite in which I can recover to normal health for a while as I wait to see if I am in remission, or another round of surgery and chemo much like the one I’m currently going through. The only things that would lead to a mortality diagnosis would be either a metastatic bloom, or a single-site metastasis in an inoperable location that proves unresponsive to my narrowing list of chemotherapy options. Neither of those things has happened, though of course either of them are possible.
I have a scan forthcoming on November 7th which will set the course of my life through next March or so. If I’m clean, then chemo wins up the weekend of December 16th, and I spend the winter recovering from its ravages. If I’m not clean, then we set the treatment plans for 2012, which would presumably be more surgery (if possible) and more chemo (almost for certain). As it happens, I have an inner, emotional conviction that I’m not clean, that a new metastasis is developing, but I recognize this as pessimism drawn from my current chemo-reduced mental and emotional state. Other than the iffiness of the CEA levels, which do not concern my oncology team, there is no medical evidence of this other than my own hard feelings.
So while in a very real sense I am experiencing morbid thoughts and feelings about cancer, I’m not planning my own funeral just yet. Making think-ahead notes, yes. But it’s not the reality I’m living in just now.