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Coming Out, as Dying

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I am coming out, as dying.

In November 2015, I was diagnosed with stage four cancer. “Four” befour I even reached 40. Four. Cancer.

I am coming out, as dying.

Imagine being told you are going to die a painful death, sooner than nearly everyone you know, by several decades. Think about the pain.

Let me take you into my world.

In November 2015, I was diagnosed as dying. And while at first, I was open about it, like a door slamming viciously closed in the wind, I backtracked within days and eradicated any mention of the truth from all but my closest friends and family.

So now I move among the world, in hiding. I look fine. I seem to get sick more and sleep more than most people. And what is up with all those doctors’ appointments?

I am coming out, as dying.

Imagine living a life when you hear people say in a meeting, “When planning four the launch in 2020,” and the physical pang that vibrates through you, with the word four, and 2020, and knowing you won’t see that project complete. And the anger that it is being taken away from you, and the ridiculousness of wanting to see some ridiculous project come to fruition, and the knowledge you are alone in that room with those thoughts.

And then the deluge, “Is this what I want to be doing with my time? What else should I do? Do I really have a choice? How am I going to fund treatment? If money was really no object would I just travel the world alone seeing everything but in actuality just wake up alone in a hotels rooms scattered around the globe wondering how long until I die?”

Next thing you know you back in a conference room and you hear yourself saying, “I am sorry, what did you ask me…”

I am coming out, as dying.

Coming out for me is acknowledging my true self and the act of revealing my true self, my true thoughts, to the world, even if the world doesn’t like it, can’t handle it, or reviles against it.

Coming out for me is acknowledging the truth even if it means losing friends and changing the way the world interacts with me. It means having to deal with other people’s sadness, and damn sad eyes, and losing work because people think my dying means tomorrow. It means a lot of things, for another blog post.

There are a lot of reasons I have hid my dying.

And in hiding my dying, I have been hiding me.

It is exhausting to hide me… And I have plenty to exhaust me without this.

So, I am coming out, as dying.

I am dying.

Originally published: March 24, 2017
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