I just had a telephone conversation with Dr. Pai, my oncologist. I asked him just how seriously I should take this earth shaking diagnosis. His response: with the recent improvements in treatment you should have a year at the very least, and you could have, oh, five years or more.
At the moment I’m symptom free and feeling just fine. So it’s not time to ask for Medical Assistance in Dying. Not just yet.
I did a Google on the rules currently in place for getting MAID. The more I read, the more annoyed I got. There are procedures that must be followed, including deciding ten days in advance when you want to kick off.
I’ve always had a problem with authority. Having to ask a medical/government authority for permission to off myself just sticks in my craw.
I understand that we don’t want anybody planting gramma for the inheritance, but the rules shouldn’t apply to me. Damn it.
I expected my dominant emotion around this issue to be fear. I’m surprised that isn’t the case. My dominant emotion is gratitude at having had an opportunity to experience this amazing reality. We’ve seen such incredible changes in science and technology in my lifetime. Also social changes that have pretty much been for the better.
When I was a child, there was no women’s rights. A woman couldn’t get a credit card or open a bank account without her husband’s permission. There was no gay pride or gay rights. A black man couldn’t drink from the courthouse fountain, much less occupy the White House and give us eight scandal free years as a role model for all humanity.
Sure, some things were more fun – riding in the back of the pickup truck. Drinking from the garden hose. But we also had duck and cover constant threat of nuclear annihilation. Okay, we still have that. Plus climate change and looming extinction. I’m just trying to say I’ve seen some great improvements. I hope I live to see a few more, and it sounds like I might.