Ostara and the Moon of Mourning
Saturday gratefuls: Jon. Joe. Seoah. The next generation. The consolation of Deer Creek Canyon. How the Mountains name us. And the Lodgepoles. And the Elk. PSA. Vaccines. Sleep. CBE.
Sparks of Joy: Jamie Bernstein. Joe. Ruth. Emily.
A little stunned? Well, yeah. Why? Reasons. Including my PSA on the rise. Probably means a cancer recurrence. Shit. I guess, sure. Why not? It’s been that kind of run for Kate and me.
Yesterday, when I read the number on my Quest Diagnostics site, I went numb. I read it wrong. Or, they wrote it wrong. Nope. 1.0. Not <0.1 as my last three have been. 1.0. Damn. This cancer is a sturdy, stealthy little bugger, hiding from the radiation administered so carefully, hiding from the lupron, hiding somewhere even after the removal of my prostate.
See my oncologist next Friday. He said there were a lot more things they can do. Guess I’ll find out what they are. I said to somebody I decided I was cured until I have evidence I’m not. OK. I get it.
No Kate. Except my inner Kate. Her death stripped away my most immediate and most trusted and most loving source of medical advice, knowledge. Reality is a bitch sometimes.
She would say to me, don’t obsess. I have a tendency to go down the rabbit hole of papers and treatments and prognosis. Reading. Reading. Reading. Digging myself a deeper hole. Trust your doc, she said. He’s sexist, but he’s a good doc. She did not say things she didn’t mean. I’ll trust him, stay away from the Google search bar.
No death certificates yet. Somebody was late signing whatever the county coroner requires. Monday or Tuesday. I need them to make necessary legal changes to bank accounts, titles, social security. Have to go in my name alone now.
Alone. I have not felt alone so far. Except those first dark minutes after Sarah called. She’s gone. Oh. Oh. Oh. Down into the abyss for a time. Or, the abyss rose up to include me. Not feeling alone. A good thing.
Though. As an introverted griever, I need time by myself. Hard to convey, especially when I need people around, but I want them to let me alone, too. Sending mixed messages, I know. Seoah understands this instinctively since many Koreans are introverts.
Not sure how to say this. I’ve gotten used to bad news. Kate’s daily changes in symptoms. Her hospitalizations. They would identify new problems while not being able to fix the old ones. Has gone on a long time. At least since September 2018, really earlier than that when she started losing weight due to Sjogren’s.
Reacting to the PSA news hit me hard for a morning, yesterday, but I integrated it. Don’t like it, but I know what happens next. Doctor. Drugs. More PSA tests. Likely a better prognosis than if I had another, more aggressive form of cancer.
Besides, one foot in front of another. No other way.
Thanks to the consolation of Deer Creek Canyon I long ago, in 2015, accepted the news that my life might be shortened by cancer. I could accept it because the Mountains were there, stolid, solid, old. My life against theirs a mayfly. Probably briefer. If I can beat it back, slow it down, so I die of something else, that’s good. But, the important thing to notice is that I die in either case. Just like Kate. Just like you, dear reader.
My fate has not changed. I’m not dead yet. Living and writing right this minute. The only minute I can occupy.