Not one of religion– no that’s not in my play book.
But there is a leap that comes when you think to yourself each night,
“The world will be here tomorrow, and I in it.”
Statistically it is likely to be so.
But what about the day after, and the day after that?
How many days do you think ahead?
Have you bought plane tickets for next year?
Planted bulbs for Spring?
Bought an extended warranty on the washing machine?
Three years ago, without even a thought, I took a three year car lease.
Nine months later I received my diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer.
Fifteen months from now that lease will come due.
Will I take another?
I have a car in mind I would love to have…
But can I think of my life in fifteen months,
What it will be,
What will I be?
No, I cannot.
I talk of taking trips in Spring. I have a friend down South I want to visit.
I do believe I will be alive.
But what will my quality of life be?
What chemo or radiation or surgeries will I need by then?
What regimen will I be on and how will I feel from it?
Just being alive is not always enough.
I don’t buy those tickets,
But I do still think the thoughts.
I don’t make promises because I don’t want to cancel.
I say, “Let’s play it by ear,”
“Let’s see how it goes,”
Because to plan, to get hopes up,
To think it could come true…
And then to have them dashed
Would be too hard for me.
I know not everyone shares this view.
The thing with incurable cancer is I don’t have a particular kind of hope anymore:
I can’t have the confidence the suffering will end because it is temporary.
It is not temporary.
I do keep pressing forward though, in my own way:
With strength, with dignity, and yes, still with great hope for more time.
Many days that is one of the hardest things about it all:
I can’t just mark the time and get through
Knowing the hardest parts will soon be over.
Because I know the hardest parts are yet to come.