I’ve spent a lot of time here lately. I barely eat, I throw-up a lot, can’t swallow without pain, and overall in a morphine haze. My cancer came back suddenly — 10 years to the day of my first diagnosis — and it is everywhere. There is no surgery, and there is no cure. I had radiation at full blast on 5 areas, but all it does is keep the tumors from pressing on everything.
I would have been dead by late August if I hadn’t had it done. Chemo is next, but that’s a formality to qualify me for clinical trials. I’m not happy about having to do it and I’ll be miserable for months, but I am out of options. We are at hospice protocol right now, but no one can tell me how long I have. Months perhaps, but no guess on how many.
The cancer has metastasized in the bone of my spine as well kidney, lung, hip, abdomen, shoulder, and lower back. I just want the pandemic over so I can do things before I am either in a wheelchair or develop neurological issues. Getting treated in a pandemic at a glossy white hospital with new age music playing, and people wearing masks, gives it all dystopian science fiction vibes.
People always seem to want supposed wisdom or life tips from those that are dying, as if we are now sages. Well, are some of mine:
- Leave the dang house. Go do things! Amazing things happen when you leave the house!
- Prioritize travel/experience over things.
- No company is ever loyal to you, don’t kill yourself working for anyone. The ‘rise and grind’ thing is bullshit; Americans are really bad at letting that attitude go.
- No cocktail is worth $20; no T-Shirt is worth $50; no newly pressed vinyl LP is worth $35; no skin cream is worth $100; no car is worth $40k.
- Put your phone on Do Not Disturb when you are sleeping! Trust me, nothing is that important. Do you have the missile codes? Didn’t think so.
- Moisturize and stay out of the sun starting in your teens.
- If they need to take a rain check on a date you had scheduled, move on. If they were really interested they’d make time.
- Never co-sign for a motorcycle or sports car!
- If you can assemble IKEA furniture together and survive, that’s a good thing.
- They’ll never leave their spouse for you. Don’t be a chump.
- Accomplishments don’t happen from wishing real hard. Do the work, even if it takes years — which it very well might.
- Ambition is important, try to muster a little bit in at least one aspect of your life.
- There’s always room for a vice or two as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody else.
- No good story ever started with, “It was a weekday so I went to bed early”.
If you would like to help, I am selling artwork at a discount, prints, stickers, books and catalogs:
There’s also a GoFundMe since my husband had to leave his job of 15 years to take care of me. We are just another statistic in the US healthcare system needing a boost from others, which is unfortunate: https://www.gofundme.com/f/arabella-proffer-life-with-cancer-fund
Thank you all!
*please don’t comment with stuff about remedies, diets, or stories about a dude who beat a cancer that is nothing like mine. It isn’t helpful. Don’t do it*