Death. A fate that everyone is bound to face. Some of us sooner than others. Everyone copes with their iminant death differently, and no one knows how they will handle it until they are looking it in the face. When I was first diagnosed with a brain tumor I was fully prepared to die. I spent months of my life waiting for the day to come when I was too sick to function, the day when god would finally pull the trigger, the day I would be put out of my misery. Except sometimes it doesn’t come when you expect. The longer you sit around waiting for death the more the realization sets in that maybe your time hasn’t run out yet, maybe you just aren’t ready to let go like you thought you were.
Standing in the pouring rain loading a box truck in South Carolina I made the decision to fight. That moment I had a turning point that showed me everything I had to fight for was looking me in the eye and silently begging for me to not give up hope. I promised myself and those who loved me that I would fight my way through whatever my body brought me. Except at that point, standing in the rain in South Carolina, I hadn’t yet truly experienced being sick. I knew I was ill. I knew my body was beginning to abandon me. I figured the worst had for the most part already hit.
One month later my best friend found me sitting on a sidewalk in Oklahoma with no recollection of how I had gotten there. I didn’t remember my name. I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t understand why I had been wandering around outside in the middle of the night. An hour later I regained my memory but had no recollection of the events of my amnesia. I had completely blacked out for the first of what has since been hundreds of times.
The will to fight slowly became harder to sustain. While it never slipped away entirely there were days when I wondered if living would ever provide an alternative to the pain. As my best friend became my caretaker I began longing for a way to escape our friendship not because I wanted to be without him but because I wanted to stop hurting him, I wanted to stop seeing the pain in his eyes as his plans were repeatedly derailed to care for me instead.
My biggest fear is death. The thing I want more than anything else in the world is eternal happiness for my best friend. The longer I’m sick, the more my greatest fear begins to tempt me as my only escape to receiving the thing I want the most. So I hold onto that moment in South Carolina with everything I have, because once it’s gone I don’t know if I will have anything left.