Saturday, October 02, 2010

Rough Night

It has been a rather difficult night. I finally gave up on sleeping around 3:00 a.m. Prior to that there were a number of episodes when involuntarily, half asleep, I was making all sorts of rather loud verbal noises signaling great distress. Me sort of screaming out in pain like this really upsets my sweet little loving and empathic dog Inu.

Because of the leukemia the defective white blood cells have continued to grow to such an extent that they are now crowding out other blood components like red blood cells & hemoglobin. The hemoglobin level is now well below the normal recommended minimum. So even if the heart, blood vessels, and lungs were all in the tip top condition of a 20 year old, and my total weight was a little lower, it would still be difficult to supply enough oxygen to the the body's important tissues.

There is another element to add in to this chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) puzzle. The lymph nodes around my neck, in the groin area, and especially under the arms have grown very large and hard. The ones under the arms are the largest and are also the most troublesome. No doubt my spleen is very swollen also and maybe the liver. A little while ago I tried going back to bed, but found that almost immediately I was having problems breathing. I think that these swollen lymph nodes and other organs have actually gotten so large, and they are physically occupying so much space in the chest cavity, that they are making it difficult for the lungs (and maybe the heart) to operate properly. When I lay down in bed it seems to get worse.

I'm in my 60s. I don't think there is any question that sometime in the “near” future I will die from the combined adverse effects of this CLL. Maybe a heart attack or perhaps pneumonia. The question is, how do I know when it has all gotten so hopeless, and the suffering has reached the point where suicide is a better option than suffering? There are still lots of days where I am fairly happy and am enjoying life. Taking Inu on walks around the neighborhood, with me riding on the geezer mobility scooter. I'm reading a couple of books which I'm enjoying greatly. The days are not bad, it is the nights that are the big problem.

That poor 18 year old gay kid who jumped off the bridge because his roommate took videos of him having sex with another guy and sent them out over the internet. I guess that he felt so humiliated that he thought he had to end his own life. Stupid decision for an 18 year old. I feel bad for him and his family. A young person committing suicide is completely different than an old man who is suffering constantly from an incurable malignant cancer.

In a way I envy those ignorant religious fanatics who strap on a suicide vest and martyr themselves for Allah. Of course I guess plenty of these Muslims who do the suicide bomber routine are forced to do so. Perhaps even most of them don't do it because of some deeply held religious beliefs; who knows? I think all organized religions are a bunch of crap, so this won't work for me.

Some gutless bastards don't have the strength of character to commit suicide, so they threaten a cop with a gun. Maybe even shoot a cop. Knowing full well that the other police will then kill him. They call it SBC, suicide by cop. There is no excuse for them to take the life of another person (like a cop) just because they want to end their own life.

I have gradually fulfilled or gotten rid of almost all my duties, obligations, and responsibilities. I am no longer married; I owe no money to anyone. My child is in his mid 30s, and he is far beyond my owing him anything further. He will inherit a little bit from my estate, and money seems to be all he wants from me anyway. The only obligation I have left is to my dog Inu, but it is clear that my sister and brother in law will take good care of Inu if I die before he does.

In the last six months of her life my aunt Friede Garland talked a lot about how she was tired of living and just wanted it to end. I first learned about Do Not Ressucitate from her. I didn't understand at the time, but I am beginning to now as I get near the end.

I'm still thinking this through. I know that suicide is a very permanent solution; you certainly don't want to exercise that option lightly. I guess the answer is that if I am still questioning it, the time to shoot myself in the head has not yet arrived. Maybe it won't ever, and I'll get lucky and die quickly and naturally.