The Day I Died

Disclaimer: following words are written by Velveteen cat’s husband, who feels the duty to finish the work, publish the drafts and tell the story to its very end. The next few posts if any would be composed of deciphered drafts with possibly my comments.

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I walked with my mom at the end of March around our house with the help of “walker”, I was sitting at home under nurses’ supervision at the start of April and got to the hospital SSM soon, where I lied most of May, and as my condition quickly worsened, I didn’t get out of it alive.

Yesterday, we received the ashes of my cat, who died of (guess?) the lung cancer. And today my time to pass has come.

It is not the first time, two weeks ago I was very close to it as well. That time I was surrounded by old friends who come/flown from far away at first call, my husband, mom, and dad. This time it was my husband, mom, and medical personnel.

All this time doctors and nurses provided as much care as they could, and even more. Palliative care is concentrated around me feeling ‘well’, which, above all, means no pain (read ‘a lot of opioids’) and no anxiety, which brings panic attacks, skyrockets the heart rate and deteriorates breathing.

The antianxiety drug has a nasty ‘retrograde amnesia’ side effect, meaning at times I felt going crazy by not remembering what happened yesterday, or a few hours ago, or losing the sense of time I spent in this institution. With the days getting longer, the clock on the wall confused me since 8 pm looks the same as 8 am. 

With the tumor pressing hard against bronchi it became very difficult to breathe and even with constant oxygen supply, I had to maintain proper posture in the bed because in other positions tumor also pressed against my heart as well, dropping me into the cold sweat and fast, frequent shallow breathing.

This bastard tumor also pressed against some nerve center to the left of my heart, rendering a lot of body functions visibly assymetrical – dilated pupils are of different size, the redness of the skin after corticosteroids were abruptly cut by a strong vertical line on my face, leaving left side pale; but the worst of all – my left hand withered and could not help me even with typing on the keyboard, not mentioning such tasks as holding a glass half-full of juice.

At a rare moment when I complained to my husband when we were alone in the room, I asked: “If only I had strength at least at my hands!”. There was a lot of things I’d like to tell, share, write about, but with hands working very slow, the brief moments between morning procedures and a midday nap were often spoiled by cloudy mind thanks to all of the ‘cocktails’ I have.

For several days the city fell into the summer mood, with temperatures soaring high, the soft cool wind caressing the leaves and flowers of the hospital’s garden where I spent hours with mom and my husband in my wheelchair and everything looked quite promising. The last evening I subscribed to the streaming service and together with my husband we spent all evening watching the first few episodes of a very famous series which we postponed watching ‘until it is finished in production’. So it has, and we had a lot to catch up!

The day I died was not sunny at all. In the morning I felt pain in my chest and the back, which was quickly taken care of. Worsening blood circulation left noticeable marks on my body, but we had seen it before, right? At 14:18 I died leaving behind a year of struggle, a decade of utter happiness, broken hearts, tons of good memories and several foggy drafts of the posts to this blog.

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