Maybe I've been in lockdown too long and need something different. Or perhaps I've been pushing myself too hard (although it would be difficult for you to find anything I've accomplished around the house recently) and need a rest.
Just as likely, it could be that I want some time to quiet my mind so to think and feel what I have known since mid-2017 – that the days of my life are numbered. I've tended to forget – or avoid – that reality for a great deal of the past year.
Around 90 percent of people who are told they have pancreatic cancer are dead within a year of diagnosis. Me? In June, it will be three years. I only recently (make that this morning, Saturday) made a list of the major events during that time period:
• Whipple surgery with five or six months of recovery
• Two much smaller surgeries to fix an internal bleed
• Three rounds of chemotherapy
• A remarkable psilocybin session
• Tests showing me to be cancer-free
• Tests showing cancer spread to a lung and peritoneum
• COPD diagnosis
• Pulmonary rehab for COPD
And in recent weeks, what I believe to be late(r)-stage cancer symptoms: increased fatigue, body pains some of which would be funny if they didn't hurt so much, waning appetite, weight loss and a golf-ball=sized growth I discovered four days ago on an inner thigh.
It is placed in such a spot that I know there's a joke to be made about growing balls (or, anyway, one) at my age but it hasn't come to me.
Certainly the two doctors with whom I have tele-health appointments this week will tell me what is what about all this. I suspect at least one will want to book an in-person visit which, in our virus-ridden world, rather freaks me out. I mean, those docs work at a giant medical center with five hospitals, a medical school and many kinds of clinics.
Not that I won't go anyway.
When I was diagnosed, I chose to chronicle here what I thought, at the time, would be at most a year about my journey with one of the most deadly cancers. But the months kept passing and here we are in 2020.
I'm going to have a rest now, hear what the doctors say and return in about a week. Meanwhile, tomorrow there will be a new Reader Story and on Sunday next, there will be Peter Tibbles' music column. Unless something changes, I'll be back here a week from today.
Meanwhile, thank each of you for always being such a wonderful, responsive audience and excellent participants in the commentary. This blog grew into a collaboration a long time ago – it is what makes it special.
Be well and stay safe.