It's been on my mind all week. I've been feeling better, so much so that, other things being equal, the direction of my health would lead me to believe things will continue to improve. And, in a kind of naive empirical way, that is precisely how I have been thinking about my life.
That translates into activities such as leaving the house for a visit to Chapters with my wife on Tuesday with nothing but my walker to remind me that mobility can sometimes still be a problem. I am reading again too - not just browsing book and magazine covers. Friends, when visiting, have brought over more books, more journals, and even more CDs for me to spend time with. It's been amusing actually to have my wife complain about the maze of books and magazines surrounding my bedside making access to my bedside tables that much more difficult.
The hospice care nurses have been postponing visits more frequently these days too. When everything is going well, there isn't much to do for them. Today, when one of the nurses did come for an on-site visit, she was very pleased to see that the "butter-fly" injection site was still as healthy as the day she initially set it up, over 10 days ago. She was also very pleased to see that I have been averaging only 3 bolus infusions of the "breakthrough" morphine medication every day, down from the initial 10 to 12 applications when the self-administered PDA pump was first used (in addition to the "breakthrough" morphine, I still have the "maintenance" fentanyl patch).
But for all the good news, my naive empiricism keeps wondering when the tide will turn - at which point I guess it's no longer naive. Each day, I have bouts of uncertainty about what's coming next. So when I start to nap a little more - which I've been doing the past couple days - I begin to wonder if the drowsiness is the first sign that the "good days" are coming to a close.
Or I might eavesdrop on a conversation between my wife and somebody on the phone obviously asking how I'm doing. I will hear my wife talking about her father's battle with cancer and the good days he had before his final turn for the worse. Or she might be heard saying something about "just enjoying the good days that we have". It's not just my wife, or course; other friends and family members can be heard saying similar things.
Here's the thing. I want another 30 years or so. I want the obituary to say something about dying peacefully in his sleep at age 90. But that's not going to happen. Will it?