Terminal Finality

Terminal Finality

His tears did not sting because they no longer flowed. His ducts had long since lost their will to produce the salty liquid. Without the outer release he felt his insides decaying. No words could ever describe the horrible crushing feeling. He just wanted it to end, for the pain to go away. Many times he had begged for them to just let him die, but they persisted in prolonging his life. Why extend his suffering any longer?

He refused to eat, even if he had wanted to the chemotherapy would certainly make his nausea level too high for him to even to swallow a bite. Yet, they fed him intravenously. Why the radiation and chemotherapy, he always had cried. He did not care if they allowed him to live an extra month, if it was in the bed. He did not want to live lying down; he had always been an active man and could never sit still. His impatience was agonizing.

Bedsores pained him, yet the medication that was supposed to help just made his focus hazy and unclear. They told him to eat, told him to never give up. Begged him to follow the stories in magazines and stay positive.

Yes, but those victims were survivors. Sure cancer had kidnapped them, but they had paid the ransom and were released to live out their lives. He paid the dues over and over again to empty promises but they wanted him forever.

He was never to be a survivor. Once, he spelled out "T-E-R-M-I-N-A-L" to a pesky nurse who always bothered him to persevere. There was no cure; he would not ever leave the hospital. He begged them to let him die in peace, at home, with family and away from the needles.

He knew it was all a joke. He had no family, except an adult daughter who he had never known and an estranged ex-wife. The rest of them, they had never cared for him as he had left the trailer trash neighborhood he was raised in to pursue a better life.

Then let him die alone. But they would not. If he had had the strength he would have climbed out the window and let himself fall free and be allowed one last moment of happiness before it would end. But he could not even crawl, much less open and window.

During the final stage of the disease, he had only his mind left. Yet unlike in the movies, he found no inner peace, did not reconcile with enemies, and had nothing of value left. He could hardly speak and had to be hooked up to a machine that breathed for him.

He couldn't even chose whether or not to take a breath or not. He was completely dependent of the hospital, and as a man who had always been self-sufficient, it was very hard for him. His only happiness was that the chemotherapy and radiation treatments had ceased. The doctors gave up, although he felt they should have stopped a long time ago. There was no point.

The pain was unbearable. He felt his life draining from him, a slow excruciating process. It was so anguishing it could not be adequately described with a million words. It was something no painkiller could ever rid of. It mental, emotional, and physical pain all rolled in one.

He became so suicidal he would have smothered himself in his own pillow could he ever get rid of the ventilator. He tried to console himself by thinking of better times, yet he realized then how empty his life had been. And he did not care. Like it would matter a month from now.

They had more bad news the next day. Tests confirmed the cancer had spread to his brain. At first he did not care at all. Tumors already had taken over half of the vital organs in his body. He used to stare at drab and ugly walls of his "cell" to pass time towards his soon and inevitable death, but his vision began to flicker out and eventually died.

It turned out the occipital lobe was the first attacked, but not the last. Soon went his temporal, and he could not hear or see. This intensified the pain by a hundredfold because there were no distractions left from the pain.

The patient could not think about the bleak wallpaper that attempted to be cheerful, because he could no longer gaze at it. There was nothing to look forward to but pain. He no longer dreamed, just moved in and out of conscious and unconscious states.

He lived in a world of pain and dark desolate hell. Was he dead yet? He had even lost the feeling his body. He could no longer taste, nor smell, see or hear. And the tiny corner of his mind that was still untouched kept him conscious. That tiny corner was slightly relieved from the physical pain, but the mental and emotional still plagued him.

Finally, the pain slowly began to fade, to his relief. In his final moments, he did not relive his favorite memories, did not journey down a bright tunnel, he just felt idleness. Then there was nothingness….

©2001