A few years ago I was put in the unenviable position of considering my own mortality. I’m reminded today as John McCain ends his fight against brain cancer.
No one ever told me I was going to die. We weren’t stupid. It was pancreatic cancer. We knew right away my chances were poor.
Even finding out I was eligible for the Whipple, something in retrospect I didn’t quite understand, was only likely to be a short life extension, not a fix.
You want to know how serious it was? I prepared a list of my passwords for Helaine.
This post’s title promises funny. Not ha ha funny. This is strange funny.
Death didn’t scare me. Not at all. That’s the funny thing. I’m still surprised to say that because before cancer it definitely did.
I was scared of the treatments and pain I’d have to go through. Those were planned. It was easy to lose a night’s sleep worrying about what they’d do to me the next morning.
Death sneaks up on you… or so I hoped.
As it turns out my doctor’s were fabulously successful. Every indication is I’m the patient they should put on their CV. They were skillful. I was lucky.
My fears of pain weren’t misplaced. I tolerated it better than feared. We put up with a lot of shit when we have to.
It never came to the point where the pain wasn’t worth it. That’s where John McCain is today. That is sad.
Part of the reason death didn’t scare me was my life was in order. I was in a good place. My family and friends knew where I stood with them. My hope is the same is true for Senator McCain and that he doesn’t fear death.