We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The not knowing what's coming but knowing you'll have to face it all alone was the worst thing according to my sister. She went down hard from pancreatic cancer, eight weeks from diagnoses to death including the last three weeks on a morphine drip. I still miss her.
I've always tried to be the voice and face of normality. I don't have a big reaction, rather, I've aimed for "Okay, so how do we fight this effectively?"
I've learned I need to be a bit more insistent that I am here to help, not panic, and to be a bit intrusive on "how can I help" questions. Can I take care of the yard? Can I drive you to appointments? How about every Monday night I bring over a hot dish?
This kind of thing is so helpful. You are a good soul. I find that there is an irrational shame in trying to ask people to do something for me. I might comment that I haven't been able to dust, or ask if they know a housekeeper, but often that just passes as conversation. Part of it is not knowing what they are comfortable with, so when someone can listen and just kind of step in, it becomes one less thing I have to worry about.
Last week, my sister came from out of state to help me with housework I've been unable to do. My brother took me out of town for a treatment. A friend brought us half a casserole for supper. When I called the man who'd mowed for me last time, he came and mowed again but would not take any money. It will be hard for me to ask him again, so I "hope" that he or someone else will just notice and come mow next time.
It is like a death sentence. It is punishment, physical and mental punishment. Everyone involved dare not say what they see each step of the way, they are professionals who report back to the doctor but each one of them knows or is pretty sure you have cancer. Finally, someone, your doctor tells you after all the tests and the time between tests (like waiting for a PET scan) and the discomfort (have you ever had a lung biopsy) and still you don't really know, you suspect the worst but you don't know until the oncologist finally tells you. During that time I considered the way I would die rather than go through what I had seen others go through. I would commit suicide but I couldn't confide that to my wife. That would be to difficult and too hard on her. I had to do it where she wouldn't be the one to find me. I didn't want to shoot myself, that is gruesome. But I didn't want to ask for medication and have to deal with all the questions and assessments either. What to do? It was two months between my initial first diagnosis and my first operation and I was on a fast track; good doctors, good hospitals, good insurance but no good news. Ironically two years after my oncologist first told me he died from cancer. He had retired and was only treating his previous patients when I found out. Four oncologist and another operation and lung biopsy later I still have cancer. I have asked my oncologist to only have to see him once a year and I will not get another lung biopsy. Whatever the future holds it is better without endless tests and scans and listening to long lists of normal and abnormal proteins in my system that may or may not mean I need more cutting or radiation or chemo or god knows what else. I haven't told my oncologist my full intent but he may know. When they (the labs and radiology) call to set up an appointment I defer and say let me call you when I know what my schedule is. I do have a CT I must schedule or my oncologist will drop me but I haven't decided yet if I go along with that (the CT is no big deal) but having to listen to the bad result with my wife beside me is torture for both of us.
Keep your spirits up, even if you're facing it alone, you're not the only one. I hope it goes as well as it possibly can for you, even better than what you are maybe expecting. You've been thinking some pretty hard thoughts, and making plans. That's a good thing, being in control of things.
I can always tell when one of my scans/MRIs/seances/etc. displays a bad result. First, there will suddenly be more people to help me get up than there were when I started the test. Second, they will be an added level of kindness to their voices, like they could make me better with kindness.
It always makes me smile when they do that. So sweet!