The TV in the living room is on. Sam keeps it on even when she’s on her computer doing whatever. She hates the sound of silence. Kids…
Anyway, she called my attention when there was this announcement that actor Rudy Fernandez has died after years of fighting cancer. Being a celebrity, his cancer treatments, the ups and downs, have been well documented by media. He’d been undergoing chemotherapy for so long.
You know, when I was taken ill last week, the moment the doctors announced that it was my gall bladder, Speedy gave a visible sigh of relief. We never really talked about it but it was there like a cloud — the possibility that it was some kind of cancer. But until cancer was ruled out by the initial tests, you know, it was an unspoken threat.
And all these make me wonder. If I had cancer, how long will I hold on? For how long will I consent to treatments, the painful and expensive treatments, knowing there are no real guarantees and that the best I can hope for is a few more years. Are those few more years living the life of an invalid, unable to truly savor the colors and flavors of life, worth it?
I have two close relatives who died from cancer, one from each side of the family. I saw them wither. I saw them transform from gregarious human beings into shadows of their old selves. They kept hoping everything would turn well but were they deluding themselves? Were their families deluding themselves too? Were the doctors giving them false hopes?
Speedy and I, we’ve talked about these things in the past. And we swore we would never subject our bodies, and our daughters, to the hardships. If someone told me today that I have cancer, I will simply decide to live out the rest of my days in the company of people I love doing the things I love. Like Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson in The Bucket List. A few months in a lucid state seem better than a few years in a drug-induced state.