Saturday, November 27, 2004

Say it ain't so.

Last night I dreamt I was visiting a sick friend.

I was trying to commiserate, empathize and console. I was trying to tell the friend that I'd recently got over a disease myself. I couldn't remember, though, what I'd had. I knew it began with a "C". I was thinking "conjunctivitis" or "compound meningitis" but I couldn't quite put my finger on what it had been.

I woke up, and remembered - esophageal cancer. Then I remembered I still have it.

It's a little surprising to me that I still have such strong denial in my subconscious.

Everybody's heard about the four stages of grieving, right? What are they? Isn't the first one denial? Then anger. Or is it bargaining? Acceptance is the last one, anyway.

Upon reflection, I've been entertaining these mini waking fantasies where one of my doctors calls me to admit, sheepishly, that they'd misread my scans, and that there is nothing wrong with me. I'm always magnanimous, assuring the embarrassed physician that I wouldn't dream of litigation.

Denial is easy, especially since I HAVE NO SYMPTOMS!!! The only things that have made me feel bad are medical treatments. My hematoma and fever were a result of a needle biopsy. The chemo makes me feel like hell. I got a rash from an antibiotic early on. My arm got distended from a slipped IV.

So we're still expecting to wake up and find it was all a bad dream.

There's no place like home. I'll miss you most of all, Scarecrow.

It's not that I want to experience the symptoms of esophageal cancer. They're horrible. They're also a harbinger of a much worse prognosis.

Sure, it's unlikely. I've had two endoscopies (one with ultrasound), a PET scan, at least four CT scans (that I can remember), and some X-rays. But it could happen, right? Maybe?

It could be time to start bargaining.


Blogger Ed said...


Bargaining as a stage of grief; I don't think so.

In fact, it’s not a stage of anything. Rather it is a never-ending characteristic of those living strong.

Sometimes we bargain from a position of strength. Sometimes we have nothing, but bargain to see it the others have all they need (and sometimes they don't!) and we wind up ahead.

And sometimes we bargain when we have no clue has to the outcome. That's when we bargain based on our principles and faith. We're not sure of the other party's goals and objectives, but we sure as hell know ours and that we're RIGHT. If we keep talking enough and work hard enough, we'll find the path that will provide our desired outcome.

And you've made that happen many times before.

I fully expect you to make that happen again. Your personal fortitude makes you an inconquerable adversary. You are ready to sit down at the table with this beast (whatever it is).

And as soon as you see the opening, you’re going through. Because you are living strong, brother.


9:39 PM  

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