Tuesday, 30 December 2014

I Accept; I Hate It

I'm not doing well this morning. My left shoulder hurts; my hands hurt; the muscles in my arms hurt. I am even having trouble focusing my eyes this morning; they work, just slowly. The problem is that I don't know how much of this is simply aging, and how much is ALS related. The shoulder might be aging, My hands might be just the same. My slow focus eyes might just be the time it takes for me to wake up. All of these things are probably made just a bit worse thanks to my illness.

Let's face it; I am dying. Of course the more prosaic amongst you might say we all are dying, and that would, on the face of it, seem true if just a bit trite. The difference is that my dying is an active event; a slow, torturous, dragged out affair that will end in a terribly inconvenient manner. For those who are not afflicted with some terminal illness, such as end stage cancer or such like, your death is a passive event, something that might happen at some time in the near future. Mine is happening now, just in slow motion.

I have a friend who will die this week, most likely, from terminal cancer. Her march to the end of life has been underway for some months now. She has been fighting her cancer, and so could have been said to be living with it, until just a matter of weeks ago. It was at this point when she began dying from cancer instead of living with it, instead of fighting it. She has accepted that her cancer is what will end her life.

My father went through the same thing with his cancer. He fought until he could fight no more. Then, a week before he died, he went into the hospital where the doctor said they would not treat his cancer any more. My Dad said, with kind of spirit only he could muster, "Then we give up!?!" The doctor replied, "No. McBride. We accept that this is what is going to kill you." A week later, Dad died. He just gave up once he found there was nothing he could do to fight his illness.

So what do I do? How do I "live" having been forced to accept that there is nothing I can do to fight my illness. Sure, there are devices and machines and methods to extend my life, a life trapped in a chair or laying in a bed. Sure, there are people who live longer through mechanical intervention. I just don't think I want to do this. I have accepted that this is what will end my life; I will die from complications associated with ALS.

I have accepted. Now I just have to wait. It means mornings like this, and worse to come. One day I will wake up and realize that tomorrow will be worse, that the day after that will be worse yet again, followed by the day after that. And I am compelled to accept that this is what will kill me. I hate it.

1 comment:

  1. We all hate it for you,Richard,and would do anything to change it,if we could,but we cant. We are powerless over our own demise,unless we choose to take some of that power back, and that opens up a whole new can of worms!