My Cancer Story

What Now?

Posted 5 January 2016

Our weekend in Mill Valley was both lovely and very difficult. I felt some pain but had plenty of energy. I didn’t think twice about walking about a mile into downtown.

Mentally, it was another story. Normal distractions didn’t distract from the endlessly circulating thoughts of what was left of my life.

We tried going out to breakfast, and found that it was too hard to make it through a meal without crying. No more eating out.

We went to SF in search of entertainment and distraction, to the Walt Disney museum in the Presidio (fascinating, but not enough a distraction in my current condition).

Then we went to the most successful 60 minutes of the entire weekend: a visit to the KitTea cafe in San Francisco. I had donated to their Kickstarter campaign years ago when they were setting this up. It’s an involved process, because of course you can’t have cats in a cafe. So there’s the cafe room and the cat room.

Visit their website to make a reservation. If you are a cat lover, this could be the highlight of your day.

I had my first strong experience of being sick after we hiked to the peak of Mt. Tam, something I hadn’t done in many years. It didn’t seem very stressful; we hung out at the top for a while and enjoyed the spectacular sunset views.

A trio of 20-something girls approached us as we were walking to our car and asked for a ride to their car. We agreed, thinking it was nearby; it happened to take 45 minutes to get to it — but that is a story for another post.

Back to feeling sick — everything was fine as Irene began drivingĀ us all down the mountain. I was feeling a little queasy, perhaps, and was trying to find the street where their car was on my phone. After 10 seconds I gave the phone to Irene, saying “I can’t do this”.

I made it through our extended drive back to Mill Valley with my eyes closed, and by the time we got there I had been through all sorts of feelings I can’t recall well enough to describe. But for the first time, my illness itself (rather than the knowledge of it) was putting limits on what I could do.