I ws hoping to do a lot more with Debbie, but this was not one of her good weeks, and while the spirit was willing, the cancer-riddled body wasn't up to terribly much. She'd been hoping to go to Lava Beds, maybe canoe Klamath Lake, and do a lot of other things with me. We mostly got out and did some sightseeing and went to some antique shops and galleries and sat around and talked a lot. She was exhausted most of the time, which isn't terribly surprising when you consider that cancer is treated by essentially giving you poison, and hoping your body has more resistance to the poison than the cancer does. I really don't know how long she's going to last, but I hope it's not too painful. But she's so much like me, wanting to go charging off and do things, despite it all. She said she'd gotten lectured by her doctor for pushing herself too much, and he said she should "save her strength" and her reply was "For what?" And I understand perfectly. Her doctor was appalled that she went cross-country skiing this winter. "Save your strength." For what? She didn't see anything that was going to beat out cross-country skiing. We talked about burning out vs. rusting out. Heck, if you have terminal cancer, wouldn't YOU want to do as much as possible with the time and resources you have left? But I was watching her essentially falling asleep on her feet, trying to keep going. I told her about Warren Zevon's song "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead," and she said that's how she feels. (I played "Life will Kill Ya" for her, and she liked it.
I agreed to be the two person with medical power of attourney. She's thinking of someone local, but she also knows she wants someone who respects her wishes and outlooks. That isn't any members of her family, whom she knows would try to keep her alive as long as possible in hopes she might somehow recover. She says her mother still keeps telling her that if she just thinks hard enough at it, the cancer will go away, and that she will live to be a hundred. Yeah, right. She's come to terms, and wants to exit with dignity, and not end up kept alive by people in denial.
I don't honestly know how long she will last. From what she says, it's very much one day at a time, some days up, some down. I don't think it will be as much as two years, though. But I also don't think it will be two months. Somewhere in between. She's tough. Cancer is tough, too, but she's focused not on "beating cancer" but in living life in defiance of it. I think it's a good attitude.