• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 01


Hanging onto the ropes of parachutes and all sorts of flying and floating machines, I think of the fragility of my life. What do I hang onto? I know what my ropes are: Faith, family, friends, health, confidence in doctors who, one week from this moment, will hold my life in their hands, my very lung, which cancer has invaded. I turn myself over to them, leave the conscious world, and know I will either wake up or not. It is a thought that makes me shiver. I will say to my husband, "I'll see you in a couple hours. But if I don't, please hug the kids. Keep the house clean. Get a cat to keep you company. Be strong."

I have been stoic to this point, busy having tests and preparing for the surgery. But now I am nearing the end of preparations. The time gets close. My mind forces me to think about what is really going to happen. Will every breath I take be agony? Will the pain pills help? Will eating be difficult? Will I be able to find a comfortable position in which to sleep?

I overthink it, I'm afraid. The ropes are tenuous. I have seven days to wait, seven days for my imagination to run wild.

I cling to the ropes, begging them to strengthen.