It is hard to believe, but here I am again: Just a measly two days away from another in the endless cycle of visits to my oncologist. I love my oncologist; I really do. In fact, I even wrote an entire post about that fact (https://itsinmyblood.blog/2019/04/18/oncological-love/). But seeing her like this just has to stop.
One would think, perhaps, that after six years of having cancer I would become more accustomed to this routine. Regrettably, cancer is not an activity that one tends to get better at with practice. And that goes for the attendant aspects of it as well such as doctor’s visits and worrying about things such as Death. Quite to the contrary, I think that as my experience level with cancer has increased, my ability to cope with it rationally has correspondingly decreased. The sleeplessness, the constant worrying, the irritability and the general lack of concentration are only becoming more pronounced the longer I have this disease. In a strange play on words, the chronic nature of the cancer is making the symptoms from living with it more acute.
In fact, I think that I hit an all-time low a couple days ago in terms of pre-appointment anxiety and general lack of lucidity: My six-year-old, Andrew, and I were watching the film Justice League. I should note that while Andrew was a first-time viewer of this flick, I had in fact seen it at least once before. And although my memory is not too good these days, I still knew what happened and, importantly, how it ends. Before I go on with this tale, however, I feel compelled by my general sense of morality to issue a “spoiler alert” as I am going to reveal an important plot point. (I am issuing this alert out of an over-abundance of caution as I am a lawyer by training.) This movie was released nearly two years ago, however, so I am not sure if the statute of limitations on the spoiler alert for this film would have already run. Plus, I don’t think many people liked it too much anyway, as evidenced both by the scuttlebutt I heard among my friends as well as the all-important online reviews.
Having warned you, I now turn to what will have to pass as the important portion of this discussion: Despite knowing full well that Superman would be brought back to life and become good again (you can perhaps see why this film was an underachiever at the box office), I found myself getting quite emotional about it – I literally felt my eyes welling up with tears. Over a superhero movie! It’s not Steel Magnolias (not that I am saying I ever watched it, much less multiple times). It’s not even End Game. Why did this happen? There can only be one explanation – my emotions are in a state of complete agitation as I count down the hours and minutes until I find out if I am still in remission. Or not.
Which oddly brings me to an even lower point, if that’s possible. Three nights ago, as I fitfully (as usual) attempted to sleep, my mind was busy doing anything but resting. In fact, part of my problem these days is that even if I might technically be asleep – according to my Fitbit anyway – my mind is so active that I feel completely unrested when I “awake.” If only I could get my mind to be half as active at work I might be on to something. So, as I semi-pointlessly lied there, I had one of the worst dreams I have ever had.
In the dream, which would be better characterized as a nightmare, I was dying. As someone with cancer, it would be understandable if I had many dreams like this. Fortunately, however, I do not and even when I do they are not this vivid or this odd. For in the dream – and I swear I am not making this up – a bald Uber driver picked me up to take me to my appointment with Death. That’s right, an Uber driver. (I guess technically he could have been working for Lyft, but I only have the Uber app so I am assuming that’s the one.) I asked the driver if he was an angel or a demon, which in thinking about it now, actually seems like a good question to ask a stranger before getting into his car. He did not, however, really answer. He did, however, ask me if he could use my credit cards since I would no longer be needing them. See how realistic this dream was?
After settling up with Charon the Uber driver, I proceeded to an office full of others who were there to die. But, because the dream was so realistic, I naturally had to wait quite some time for it to be my turn. In fact, and this is startlingly realistic, I had waited so long that I needed to use the restroom. (Mercifully it was not one of those dreams where one thinks one is in the bathroom and relives oneself only to find out that one is still sleeping in bed. That happens to other people too, right?) After what was likely to be my last tinkle ever – I did wash my hands, mostly out of habit – I returned to the waiting area where I sat next to a young man who was sobbing. I felt strangely compelled to try and console him, but before I could do any good his name was called and it was his turn to go. (I think that it was not fair, however, as I am nearly certain I was already waiting before he even got there.)
Thankfully, when it was my turn, before I could actually pass, I woke from the dream. I am not a believer in dreams to portend the future, unless of course interpreted by a multi-colored coat wearing Canaanite with too many brothers, one of whom is named Gad. Nevertheless, I could not help but be concerned that I was envisioning my own passing. Even Melissa, who is a person of science, was somewhat unsettled by the dream for the next night, when she discovered I was missing from bed, became concerned and went looking for me. She said that, after the dream, she thought she should not take any chances. Fortunately, I was not dead; just on the couch.
I guess it is a bit silly. All of this I am sure – or at least pretty sure – is just due to the anxiety about Wednesday’s appointment. Just to be safe, however, I am going to drive myself.