If I was to stay in this pain state, if it were to continue as a constant for ten hours, twenty four, a week, I realized that to be worse than death.
It felt like an eternity. It was probably six hours max. I sooooo want to exaggerate that number, and that number could be an exaggeration.
I rethought the Death with Dignity story. What if. What if the promise of my next moment and then the next LOOKED LIKE THAT!
While I have rational brain cells, I wouldn’t choose pain for anyone, especially not this lovely body that has served me with grace for half a century. Even more, I wouldn’t choose it for you, for anyone who had to watch and suffer.
It made the choice so clear, and the need so obvious. The option for Death with Dignity is a gift.
Dr. Wilfong sat with me for a long time before I left the hospital. I told a version of this story, and he had heard my plea from our first meeting many weeks ago. Six months, the process and paperwork can start when you have six months left to live.
What if another emergency surgery popped up? What if I was in a hospital bed, day after day, gray and lifeless and incapable of a smile, a wave at the person in the hall creeping by? Beyond dead, yet alive.
Dr. Wilfong spoke hope: If I were to discontinue treatment, if I did not pursue chemo, I would live less than six months. The paperwork can begin. And I will continue the path of treatment, continue the process that keeps me alive. Win win. And a sigh of relief that crosses the physical realm. I see the smile of God.