When I first heard that I had fiveish years till my kidneys failed five weeks ago, my pores clenched. My skin turned to diamond.
I turned off. I had tried to prepare myself for the worst news possible for the past year, but found myself incapable of dealing with this news.
Yet 18 months ago, I had heard, “if you do not try chemo, nothing is going to get better and you might not be here in a year.” Or something approximately like that.
Those words convinced me to live. To finally, after 34 years, actively decide: living is something I do want. It was very much up for debate prior to this.
Yet, getting a five year sentence has hit me much harder than the one year I got some 18 months ago. I think this is mainly because I was offered a choice before.
Or, because then I felt like death was waiting round the next bend before I even heard those words. I understood I was spiraling downwards. Now, I feel better than I have in 20 years. The first six months of this year were likely the best consecutive six months of my life. No joke.
So the diamond skin hardened even more.
I have been so tense the past few weeks. Trying to decide how best to live the few remaining years where I will have the mobility to see the places and things I have always desired.
The diamond skin did not allow me to breathe. I hyperventilated far too often.
But it was the idea of bonus time that permitted me to molt this diamond epidermis. To exist again as human, not mineral.
Bonus time as in that I am living right now, that I am existing at all, is due to a dramatic step of under going a horrific round of chemo. Had I not attempted to kill myself, or at least all within me, 15 months ago, I would not even have had the option to be upset and deeply troubled by the concept of only five years. Every moment I breathe in & out now is bonus time. Every difficulty I have, every heartbreak, every joy, every cat I get to pet, etc… is a bonus.
A bonus I decided to gamble for.
A bonus I won.
And while five years is nothing in the scheme of things, it is clearly enough to live a fulfilling existence before I have to bow down and genuflect in front of a dialysis machine for the rest of my life.