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How I’m Creating My ‘Exceptional Exit Plan’ With Ovarian Cancer

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Yesterday, I started my preparations to die. Two days ago, Dr. Doom and Gloom (my oncologist) told me that my ovarian cancer was likely incurable. I may have a few good years left in me, and I am planning to take advantage of the fact that I know what is most likely to kill me and when I might die to create an “exceptional exit plan.”

I had my 31-year-old son, Marcus, come over yesterday to turn my computer table around, and now my computer faces another direction. I do not like it. For 10+ years, my back has been to sliding glass doors and I have seen the reflection of the mountains on my computer screen every day when I use it. It has only been a few hours, and I already feel cut off from the outside world.

Dying would not be an issue for me if I did not have a 7-year-old daughter, Mika. I have lived an amazing life and enjoyed many adventures along my nearly 51-year journey; however, the thought of my littlest child growing up without my guidance terrifies me. Growing up into a responsible, good person was hard enough for her 24-year-old sister, Megan, and I am concerned Mika will be swayed by unsavory influences (such as using a cell phone) without me here to guide her.

You may be wondering how turning my computer around helps me implement my exceptional exit plan and why I needed my son to help me do it. The short story as to why I needed my son to help me is that I was paralyzed in an automobile accident in 1995 and have been a quadriplegic ever since. I am not able to walk or move my fingers, or even get myself out of bed, so moving a table and computer equipment is not in my wheelhouse.

The “why” as to turning my computer around and depriving myself of the beautiful mountain reflection was exactly that. That darn glass door lets in all the sunshine (which I love) and puts my face in a shadow if I wish to record a video with my webcam. So, I am now on the dreary (and colder) side of the room for the rest of my life (may it be 20+ years).

“Why do you need to record videos on your webcam?” you may be asking. I will be recording my bits of my wisdom for my 7-year-old to watch as she grows up, so perhaps my video presence will be a comfort to her as she faces common milestones in her life. I will also record some videos for her brother and sister, although they are already grown and do not need very much guidance from me. I might even make some for my  brothers, sisters and parents.

I am thankful that I have the luxury of forewarning and probably have the time to actually put my exceptional exit plan in place. My piece of advice to you is start your own plan without waiting for a death sentence (by the way, my first death sentence was in 1996 and I am still here 23 years later). I could get hit by a bus tomorrow and die tragically. That would leave a mess (literally) for my family to clean up, and they would spend time trying to find passwords and getting rid of my stuff instead of moving on with their lives. So, I begin the exceptional exit plan.

Follow this journey on the author’s blog.

This story originally appeared on the author’s blog.

Getty image via angel_nt.

Originally published: February 6, 2020
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