From this day forward, reader beware

Puppy dog outline in shading of rainbow

I realize that my last post was heavy and depressing. I am grateful to anyone who read it, and for the resulting outpouring of compassion and support. Even as I was writing you, I wondered whether it was fair to dump these tough challenges I’m facing on you. Who would want to know I’m suffering from escalating, excruciating pain? What a downer.

When I first started my blog, my health was precarious but my death was not imminent, so my writing reflected that dichotomy. There were lighter posts to balance the heavier ones, and I worked hard not to overwhelm you, my readers, with depressing topics day after day. But times have changed and I am staring death in the face. Is it fair to expose you to this nitty gritty, or should I keep all that to myself?

You know my answer: I wouldn’t lie to you. You’ve been with me for the long haul and I’m not going to sugar coat my day-to-day experience now that I’m declining. Consider me too honest. I am writing about the reality of death and dying, which rarely involves puppy dogs and rainbows, or rainbowed puppy dogs for that matter.

I can attest from personal experience that dying is not fun. It’s scary and overwhelming and, although there are ways to alleviate my progressively debilitating symptoms, those interventions won’t stop the course of my illness. They won’t change my end date. In the meantime, no more suffering for this gal.

When I was at the cancer centre yesterday for a red-blood-cell transfusion, Dr. Blood Lite dropped by to discuss my pain. He told me pain was unacceptable, and prescribed morphine, which he felt was a better option than codeine. The doctor knows best, so off to the pharmacy I traipsed with my triplicate prescription.

Morphine is used widely in the management of cancer-related pain. Today I picked up my prescription from the pharmacist–I made this lovely young woman cry when I told her I was palliative–and I will start taking this drug tonight because I need to. I am hoping to knock my pain out of the park.

The doctor said I will not notice much difference in my functioning on this dosage of morphine as compared with the amount of codeine I’ve been taking. No walking around like a zombie or drooling out of the side of my mouth at this dosage at least, although I may experience the odd hallucination. I’m okay with that if the drug can reduce my pain. This should allow me to get back to living my life from somewhere other than the couch. I have so many items left on my baking to-do list….

So kids, you have a choice to make. You can ditch me now, and I will fully understand. If you stick with me, consider yourself duly warned that what I write may not be easy to read. But it will be honest, and I’ve always felt that honesty is the best policy. I think you’re strong enough to handle it. If it’s any consolation, I’ll be muddling through it with you since I don’t have a choice.


10 thoughts on “From this day forward, reader beware

  1. Annie,

    You are such a hero and an inspiration. Your candor, honesty, and real authentic writing is a gift to us all. Thank you for keeping it real! You are making each reader a better and more compassionate person because of it.

    I am terribly sorry for your pain. I am so proud of you and for asking and accepting help. This is such a valuable lesson to us all. Again, I thank you for always taking care of us. You are such a remarkable person.

    I don’t need puppies and rainbows. Your blog is truly a gift in my life. I look forward to whatever you write, as I know I will always being growing and learning.

    Sending you love and prayers.


    • Marnie: If I can stop people from making my dumb mistakes, I have done what I have set out to do. If only one person would read this post and realize that it is okay to seek help, I will feel I have accomplished something. Puppy dogs and rainbows would be nice, I know, but they’re not my reality right now. Thanks for your support. XO


  2. Be and act as yourself. Don’t even consider what others might think of you. Real friends will stay with you no matter what. 😘


  3. You’ve always been brutally honest. Why stop now?

    Thank you for sharing your experience. It’s awful, but makes me feel closer to you.

    Boychik and I love you and wish we could take away your pain. Xxxooo


  4. We’re sticking with you, Annie! I do wish you didn’t have the pain, and hope that the morphine will take care of it. Love you!


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