Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Lump and Thoughts Of Mortality

The lump in the leg seems to be softening. Or maybe that's my imagination and/or the medication.

This Sunday morning I'm sitting in front of the TV, the best friend of the sick, watching Auction Kings. But I'm not concentrating on the show - except at this moment when they're auctioning a Faberge pencil for way over the value of the piece. That's pretty exciting. The guy who bought it better have some money.

But other than those moments when the excitement of the auction pulls my attention, I'm spending a lot of time thinking.

I'm thinking about the lump, how can I avoid it.

What I'm thinking is that there are two possibilities for this lump. Either it's a sarcoma or it isn't.

If it's a sarcoma, either it's treatable or it isn't. If it is, it's going to play havoc with this year, but I'll come out of it at the end of the year ready to go on to the next year a stronger, wiser person (I hope).

If it's not treatable, I'll die.

I am not afraid of dying. I'm just full of sadness at the idea because there is so much I haven't done.

I haven't written that book on Swedish Americans in Hollywood. I haven't written much of anything. I haven't even tried to find a publisher for the article I have completed on Hildy Johnson. I haven't finished the research on Greta Granstedt. I haven't written the piece on an alternative view of Mass Media - looking at it in light of the Christian faith, but not looking at it as judge and pious piss-ant.

I haven't learned everything I want to learn yet.

How to use Final Cut. How to work After Effects.

How to edit with rhythm and grace. How to pull an audience to a webcast.

And I haven't taught all the kids I can teach. I love my job. It is what I have built my whole life toward. Since I left Dear Old Augie I've always wanted to return to a college campus, to work for the good of the church in Higher Education: to give to others what had been given to me. That I will miss most of all.

That and family. I have not been the father I would have been to my children. Not been the kind of lover I wanted to be to my wife.

If this turns out to be a sarcoma and either un-treatable or very difficult to treat, I will be very sad to not have time to do what I have not done. Maybe, instead of regretting I should get to work and do. Because whether it is now or thirty years from now, I'll still have a ton of things on my to-do list.

Perhaps I'll start with sanding the porch rail.

1 comment: said...

Carl, I remember when I babysat with your children and your daughter told me she loved you the best because you were silly. I can't imagine a better compliment and I can't imagine they don't believe you were a great father.
That aside, been there, done that. Spent 6 yrs waiting to die, the first year in gut wrenching agony over leaving my young child. I finally more or less sucked it up and marched forward. And over the years have seen so many friends die who were not SUPPOSED to, while at least for now I am still here.
I know my life will not be long, unless some miracles occur in health coverage and liver failure. But I have finally embraced being grateful for every day I get and letting go of the future.
But anyone who imagines they can offer words that will make you go from point A to point, what? x?, is delusional. Just know you are loved.