In the distance, the runway begins to glow, though I don’t know how long I’ll be on my way. As a result of the necessary, heavy medication I’ve been taking for a surprisingly long time, my lower body from my waist down is now quite uncontrollable. That front creeps upward quietly but unceremoniously. Talking is also becoming more difficult and takes energy. When I want to move forward, my brain is particularly busy with coordination, balance and muscle strength. Silently in my office chair, the bucket seat in my car or music-making chair, the flexibly functioning part (my head, heart and arms) is given free rein and I can be myself again for a while.
It is only 3,5 years ago that my sweetheart died of a serious form of cancer. Right now I realize that I have gained a bizarre collection of knowledge and life experience that is quite useful. I know what it is like to be the caregiver of a serious cancer patient and what you need to have in place. I have seen with my own eyes what it can do to a patient. I can now see when something might be too risky and when I should call for help. I love to fly, but I also understand that I shouldn’t be the reckless accident pilot in my last few weeks. As of today, a dear brother-in-law is coming to live with me and I had already called in help for things like the double check of medication and nutritious meals.
It feels beautiful and valuable to help where I can to pass on as much as possible of the ideas behind my work and doctoral research, so that they may sink in a little better – even after my death. Or how I can give meaning in conversations with others. Although I notice that the number of people I can talk to is rapidly diminishing and it saddens me to have to disappoint so many people.
With my four hats of patient, caregiver, researcher and entrepreneur I try to hold on to the levers and inform those close to me as well as possible. Of course, everyone’s information is given in slightly different words, but the main message over the past few days has always been the same: “Cabin crew, prepare for landing”.