Like Prufrock, I measure out my life with spoons. This morning I wondered if I had enough spoons to walk Sir Gibbie two miles and have any spoons left for the rest of the weekend. I also wondered if I could still walk two miles, something I haven’t done in weeks, since before my liver enzymes blew up at the end of May. Could I, one who for the past two weeks has mainly imitated a patient etherized upon a table, walk two miles through my yellow fog of fatigue?
That yellow fog. Even though my liver numbers mostly improved last week, they got worse again this week. On top of that, my PSA Thursday, the first one in four weeks, jumped from 113 to 223, higher than when I was originally diagnosed at 200 (normal range is 0-4). Is my clinical trial treatment working? Is the PSA relevant? I don’t know yet, but I do know a big increase doesn’t indicate anything good. And I am constantly tired.
After getting my bad PSA result yesterday, and feeling woozy and wobbly, I nonetheless met some Livestrong cancer friends for lunch. During lunch I clumsily knocked over my tall glass of ice water, soaking the table, myself, and my friend next to me. The server moved us to a dry table. After lunch, when I stopped at Kroger, I got a call from that same friend saying I hadn’t left my signed credit card receipt with the restaurant. Sure enough, I had mindlessly stuck it in my pocket. So she straightened things out for me at the restaurant (I owe her), and I shopped as best I could.
At home I was completely fogged in, body and soul. I rested. I took a nap. I then felt somewhat better in body. But the bad test results this week had me in a headlock. I was about two steps from hospice, I guessed. And I hadn’t even published my book yet.
This morning, as commonly happens, I awoke feeling more hopeful. I don’t know what’s happening in my body or why, and I may not get answers for days or weeks, but I wanted to know if I could still walk two miles. If so, then the thought of hospice could recede for a while longer. And the sunshine might help my jaundice. Gibbie was a good sport, walking the whole two miles with me. It wasn’t bad. Slow, but successful. So I’m not dying yet, and I’m encouraged to know I can, without difficulty, still walk two miles, at least on a good day.
I may even have some spoons left to let me do one or two other things today.
Wishing all the dads out there a very happy Father’s Day tomorrow.