I have breast cancer that has metastasized in my lungs. At her recent visit, my hospice nurse said that my lungs sounded like two dry sponges rubbing together. I am on oxygen all day every day. With the effort it takes me to walk a few feet, I feel as if I’ve run a marathon. I’m tired. Some days I just sleep. 

I am going to die soon. I am 48 years old. I have a wonderful husband and two amazing kids. And soon I will be leaving them. The pain is indescribable. Some days I can barely stand it and I want to scream. There are times when I plead with God to take me because the pain is too much.

I am confined to my upstairs bedroom because my lungs can’t handle the stairs. The feeling of trying to breathe and not being able to is terrorizing. I try to gulp the air, but there isn’t much air moving through my lungs anymore. I have extra oxygen that I have to add to my normal amount. The sensation of being unable to inhale deeply is scary and sad. I watch my husband watch me. The sorrow in his eyes breaks my heart.

Maybe once upon a time, when life with cancer began in 2010, I was a “fighter.” I don’t see myself that way anymore, nor do I want to. I am a loving wife, mother, sister and friend. That’s all I need or want to be.

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DeathJulie DukeComment