When You Just Don't Want to Fight It so Hard Any Longer
Last updated: June 2018
I was diagnosed with NSCLC in April '16, diagnosed with surgery to remove large masses on my RUL and RLL (multiple nodules throughout both lung fields). This was a complete surprise. As a non smoker, very healthy, active 53yo, this was not the diagnosis anyone really expected. Certainly not I. My surgeon gave me the news when I woke up in ICU.
A little backround on me... I am a RN. I have been blessed to have practiced nursing in several fascinating areas through my career, with my final (and most beloved) being as a Hospice RN/Case Manager since 2011. I am very familiar with the care of pt's with whom I now share a diagnosis. I am quite familiar with the disease process. I am most definitely aware of how this usually goes for people in their early 50's who are otherwise active and fit. So with that knowledge came some quick reality checks for me. I sincerely had no any desire to fight this ugly disease. That was not born out of depression at all, but out of a sincere deeply held personal belief that I have never wavered from...the belief that (for me) quality of life always supercedes quantity of life. This is a life belief I developed long ago, and from which I have never wavered. Anybody who knows me at all knows this. So, when it came time to start making decisions regarding treatment, I was firm in my desire to follow my beliefs.
However, with all that also came the understanding that the people who love me most ALSO had beliefs AND a need to be heard, to have their thoughts, opinions, wishes considered. My amazing young adult children. My father (my rock), siblings, extended family. My incredible support network of dearest friends and colleagues. All were trying to wrap their heads around this diagnosis and its implications. Their grief. It was a difficult time. I prayed a lot. I spoke openly with my most trusted confidantes. I certainly cried a lot. In the end, I agreed to pursue treatment WITH the understanding that if I decided in my heart I just couldn't do it anymore, my wishes be respected.
Fast forward 2 years. These have been a tumultous 2 years, seeing many lows. Loss of relationships. Loss of the dream that was my planned future. Loss of a career I cherished. Loss of so much of my independence. Loss of much of my physical health. Gifts too though...realizing how very much love I have in my life. Reflection on so many amazing adventures I have been blessed to have in my life. Time to tell those I love how much I love them and to have the chance to let them really understand that I am truly at peace. To give all those I love a chance to also come to peace.
And now to the point of my story...I sincerely don't have a desire to fight too much harder on this. I genuinely don't have the "I'm going down fighting" mentality. I admire all those that do, but wonder sometimes if there are others in our cancer community that feel as I do? I pray that my ultimate death, in whatever way it manifests, to be peaceful. Dignified. Pain free. Surrounded by love. And most especially that those left behind who will be grieving have peace in their hearts in knowing we will all meet again and that this is just another path in life's journey.
Thanks for letting me share.
What healthy habits do you use to improve the quality of your life?