My doctor described the situation to me. Steady disease, five to ten percent chance of beating this (“just a guess, of course, just a guess”). Patience, chemotherapy, more patience, more chemotherapy… “you’re walking a tightrope now” is how he worded it - I forgot to ask what awaited me at the end, but I know there is no end. As Camus so finely put it, “we must imagine Sisyphus happy”.
I’m tired of this. I’m tired of feeling my body reel from the chemo, I’m tired of feeling so goddamn weak. My body isn’t producing enough blood or platelets so every couple of days they put me in a hospital room and pump me full of the stuff. My mind is tired too. Some days I go up canyon to sit by the river and sip coffee and remember that all’s well in the grand scheme of things – the sky is blue, the water is clear, the rivers sings it’s timeless song and I’m comforted by my own insignificance, I’m comforted by the sun on my skin and the smooth polished stones. I see myself as a river stone, slowly being worn down to sand, down to nothing. The river kindles memories of countless days spent up canyon, bouldering on the beautiful granite blocs or ski-touring in the high-peaks. I’m grateful for these memories, for a youth well spent in treasured landscapes, out in the wind, sun, and spindrift.
Now I’ve retreated into myself and turn my back on the people in my life. Heartbroken, my dreams shattered, I allow myself to slide further into despondency because I am weak, lazy, and a coward. If I beat this shit, I tell myself I will live as a hermit in some lonely cabin deep in the mountains and I will live out my days climbing nameless routes on nameless peaks, and I will be content if not happy.