Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Samhein

Today is Samhein.  One of my favorite days and holidays.  I love getting dressed up and trick or treat and candy and parties and bobbing for apples, and pumpkins and Indian corn.  Last night I went out to Judy and Denise's.  I wore my wood nymph outfit, Denise was a bloody chef and Judy was a scare crow.  They had decorated the yard and made food for friends to stop by, and set up things for the kids we are carried around on trailers and pickup trucks to see and have.  It was a lot of fun.

I came home and watched the end of Game 3 of the World series.  I like watching the World Series, the Super Bowl, and final games of the sweet 16 and the pro basketball.  I also love watching UF play football, and the Miami Dolphins, especially  when they play the jets.  That is always a great game.

Today I will go see Oklahoma and support the Opera House and hug the kids in the show.

Tomorrow we start the process of the colonoscopy with the cleansing, etc.  Thank goodness I read the paper because actually starting today things change.  Today is no salads, nuts or seeds.  Good thing I read that because actually that would have been my lunch.  I will come up with something else now.  And then tomorrow only clear liquids.  Hmm, that is going to be interesting at work.  I have to be able to think and finish my reports.  It will all work out.

I have been thinking about everything I still need to do to get ready to die.  I am not planning on dying right of way, but we are all dying.  Welcome to the club folks, we are members from the moment we are conceived.  Fortunately most of us don't have to think about this for most of our lives, but there comes a time when we might need to make arrangements.  I am going to be cremated.  No funeral, no fancy coffin, the simplest plain box that legally I can get away with.  Honesty I would prefer no box if that was allowed.  OK, so then I am cremated and I want my ashes to be spread around my gardens.  No marker. Simple.  What about for people who need to have some kind of service and a way to say good bye?  Well, The fanciest I would be interested in would be in the garden behind the Opera Hose.  Honestly though, just having people come here to the house and do a cover dish thing.  You know how I love cover dish dinners.  Lots of beer, wine and cocktails.  Lots of laughing.  That would be perfect.  So I need to get with a crematory and find out how to make arrangements.  I mean after all I have time to take care of these things now, and it will make it easier on my beloveds as possible.

I admit that I am not sleeping well this past few days.  I guess part of it is the unknown with the new Dr.  I really like Dr. M, but we are back to a lot of unknown.  What is the cancer?  How will we treat it?  How long will I have?  These are all good questions and I am very open to the new and unknown, but that does not mean it is not still causing some anxiety.  Not to mention Larry's cancer.  

Sorry to all of you who think I should leave the door shut.  I can't I have cancer.  I understand in a way what he is going through.  His fears and concerns and the words, "I have cancer"  Plus I spent more then 20 years taking care of him, and now that he is dealing with this disease I can not just turn my back on him.  He can not come here to live, I can not give him money, but I can be kind to him.  I can do some things to help him.  I am not sure what all that means.  It is very limited, but we have been through so many things together, and here at the end of his life, he feels like we are sharing something again.  Yes, in some ways, and it does feel OK to have this additional connection to him.  But I am still anxious.     

I also have to start researching how to die.  I used to do an inspections at nursing homes.  I saw all of these living dead.  They were neither alive nor dead.  I am not sure that dying comes as naturally as to every one.  I will talk to the doctor and I will also talk to my friend Linda, who is a hospice nurse.  I think I have this living thing down OK, but I am not sure if dying will come as naturally to me.  And as I continue on this journey, working to stay alive is going to be part of it.  So if I put all this energy into living, will I be able to then know how to die?  I am not sure.  I would like to get some information on dying and then I can put it aside for when the time comes.  I think that it will take some stress off of me.  Get the arrangements made, learn how to die, finish getting the paperwork done.  Make a list of what goes where, and then I can get back to living.  OK, that is the plan.

Don't get me wrong, I am not wishing to die, but I am not afraid.  I want everything.  I want a healthy, happy life, I want to spend time with my loved ones.  I want a good death.

I went to see Oklahoma, and it was a wonderful production.  It is community theater, so of course there were things about it that were better then others.  But over all the set was wonderful, the actors did a fine job and looked like they enjoyed themselves, and at the intermission break I went back stage and hugged all the kids.  I love them all so much.  They are so talented and beautiful and wonderful and I am so very very proud of them.

Tomorrow is work and clear liquid day.  Yum.   And then the cleansing meds, should be a fun evening, or not.  Lots of tests this week and hopefully something will show Dr. M what we are really dealing with, or not.  I have faith in him, and I trust him to be honest with us through this whole process.  And yes, I am still very happy to be on this journey.  I am learning so much, experiencing so much, there is so much love and support surrounding me.  I am thankful for today.  I am thankful for the opportunity of tomorrow.


  1. Do you need some Jello? That is clear liquid, you know. But you can't eat any of the red Jellos. That might confuse the doctors.
    This is what I know about dying- you do it in the spirit in which you lived. Therefore, when your time comes, you will do it with complete and utter elegance.
    Now me?
    Not so much.
    I love you, Kathleen.

  2. I hope that you can get that liquid down. It is a mystery to me why medical science can't come up with a better way to "cleanse". It is bad stuff and I can barely get any of it down.

  3. oh, Kathleen. I 'm so amazed at the day to day living you do mixed in with all of this uncertainty now. I'm quite certain you will find the way to make whatever comes equally as fulfilling and graceful.

  4. Yes, most of us really do avoid thinking or talking about dying. There is some statistic that shows there is quite a large percentage of adults who do not have wills.

    I never had anything worth worrying about till I had my son. (never owned home, property, no savings, all pets were cats, didn't even really own furniture, jewelry and all my cars were beaters...)

    I felt a great urgency to be sure if anything happened to us that Harley would be raised by people of our choosing. (I know our situations are different, but I think I do get where you are coming from.) It is really odd to think about ones self in that situation, what machines you want or don't want, etc... but I felt so much better having it off my mind. Our lawyer is really good and down to earth... if you want a referral...

    I'm glad you and your ex are having a chance to make things right before he moves to wherever he is going for treatment. There is something about facing something so big, like cancer that just puts everything into a new perspective. I hope that goes really well and that it is tender and healing for both of you.

    Much love. Needless to say, if you ever want to talk, I'm ok with talking about uncomfortable subjects. xo

  5. Kathleen, we've learned some of the same things from cancer. I had breast-cancer 14 years ago and part of what I learned, waking up those mornings when I didn't know if I was going to live or die, is that we're all dying. Just some of us faster than others. And some of us know it, while the others get up thinking about the morning, the day, the week, the year, forever.

    You're so smart to do everything you can now, while you feel (relatively) good. Rid yourself of anxiety about dying and disposal. Go to New York for Thanksgiving. Retire if you want. Go to Scotland. Spend a month at the shore. Write the children's story you've always wanted.

    And when it comes time to die, ask for pain-relief if you need it. You'll have said goodbye to those who matter. When the time comes, you'll want to go; you'll feel only half-here. You'll be ready to let go and slip away.

    You have more wisdom than all the books.