Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Death Panels

   Yes, I would want to know.  I used to think that the best way to go would be an unfortunate encounter with a cement truck.  Lights out.  Suddenly over.  I don't think that any more.  My dad died a horrible and protracted death by cancer and it seemed as if it took a year.  He was on powerful painkillers and morphine for much of that time, until the last week.  Between fogged moments of dying he told me he wanted off the morphine.  He wanted to die with a clear mind.
    I remember one year ago when I began my 12 sessions of the voodoo ABVD chemo-cocktail. I remember telling my doctor that I didn't want to go through what my father did, that I couldn't. Didn't have it in me.  One try was all I could do.  "Give it your best shot," I remember telling my doctor.
    During this time, this six month train ride to hell, I am sure I did what my dad did when he was off his morphine.  I thought.  My life didn't flash before my eyes, I painstakingly dug up the most minute details and relived almost every single moment, the good, the bad, everything.
   It is all a math game, percentages, chances, roulette.  Odds.  At some point you are "betting the farm".
I suspect when the last hand is played that we know this.  Accepting it is another story.  We so want to cling to life.  Survival, it is in our DNA.
   I had great odds.  Much better than the lottery, there was a fifty percent chance of winning the jackpot!
That makes everything that I am saying theoretical.  I don't know what I would do.  I don't know.  For sure I would want to know the rules and regulations, what game I was playing.  The chance of winning and the penalties of losing.  I would want someone to explain the situation I was in.  Then, if I were strong like my father, maybe I would chose at that last moment to see clearly for one last time, one more sunset and to know what I was looking at.  Maybe.  I don't know.
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3 comments:

  1. No I would not want to know. When I was hit by the car yesterday I realised that this would be a nice way to go. But I also realised that before that happens I want all the loose ends to be tied up. I want all those I love to know I still loved them. Those that had any doubts to know yes I loved them. Then I will be ready to take the cement truck.

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  3. Jerry, many years ago I developed the habit of telling the important people in my life just how much they mean to me. I write letters of love and gratitude now.
    I do show some concern when told by my doctor just what my fate may be and so I live in the here and now.

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