David Everett Fisher


May 10, 2015 introspection

I’m Going to Die

I don’t know why I thought I would keep this a secret, but I had another scan and something showed up on my liver. Here is what I’m not thinking about: it’s nothing. This is what I’m thinking about: I am going to die very soon of cancer.

This is the worst part, I have to just sit and wait till something changes and proves one or the other. I have an appointment later this month, but I’m not going to get an answer. I have to keep getting scanned and if it is growing, then I have liver cancer. If it doesn’t grow or it disappears, then it’s nothing or something else.

It’s really hard to write about this. I keep spacing out and wishing I could just give up. I write a sentence and then the possible reality of my future sinks in and I start crying. I wish I could shut down and not feel anything.

I remember being seventeen years old and wishing for death more than anything. I hated myself so much and if I found out that I had some incurable disease, I would have rejoiced. I went in to get an HIV test and I literally prayed for it to be positive.

I spent the last 21 years cleaning myself up and learning to love who I am. I don’t flinch all the time when I see myself in the mirror. I don’t cringe when I hear my voice come out of my mouth. I don’t think everyone around me hates me.

I actually love myself. I walk down the street with my head up high. I have done a lot of esteemable acts. It wasn’t easy to come to that place. It took a lot of hard work, and now it almost seems like all for not.

I’ve had lump in my throat since Wednesday. I’ve been able to laugh and joke, but I really feel fire in my guts. It’s like the emptiness I sometimes feel is now full of windy fire. People have been nice, but they all seem so far away, like they’re talking to me from the other side of a tunnel.

I try to read books to get my mind off of things, but I find myself staring at a page full of symbols and me thinking about how I’m going to die.

Now is seems that my baseball team knows what I’m going through because they can’t seem to win a game.

I know it could be nothing. I could be thinking about all of this for no reason at all, and I’ll just find out it’s a smudge or a scar or nothing at all, and I’ll just be back to living among all of you who have no idea when you’ll die. I should be grasping at hope. I should be concentrating on the positive things in my life, like counting my cool shirts will take my mind off of dying in five years.

If you have paid any attention to the last year of my life, then you’ll know why I just can’t seem to get the glass half full attitude going. I lost everything and now I’m going to lose the last thing I have left – life. If you paid any attention to my last year, you’ll know that I might have a hard time feeling hope.

I can’t help look back at all the therapy, step work and positive life changes and be completely pissed. What a waste. I could have spent that time just doing what I want instead of trying to be other-centered. I wasted so much time helping others. I wasted so many days working on being a better person. Now I am pissed because I have nothing to show for it.

Last night I walked around the neighborhood looking into windows and I kept seeing these wonderful couples enjoying their homes and not worried about the length of time they have on this earth. I kept seeing people living like they have hundreds of years in front of them. At the store this morning I saw people reading the labels and spent time trying to make the perfect decision. They lived like death was something only grandparents do.

I thought about keeping all of this under my hat because I feel like I’ve over stayed my cancer welcome with people. “That’s the cancer guy.” I didn’t want to hear the fucking ridiculous things people say to comfort me.

I’m scared shitless. I have no idea what to do. Do I make a bucket list? Do I live like nothing is wrong? I hate not knowing what’s going on. I am terrified of death now. I’m horrified of dying and being totally forgotten.

And it all might be nothing and I’ll live longer than you.


9 to “I’m Going to Die”

  1. Scott Felten says...

    First of all … I don’t know shit. I have been doing this AA thing longer than you and I don’t know shit. All i have is my experiences. My wish for you is less pain and more joy. My advice to you is seek out others who can relate to you and help you with wish #1. I love you , Dave.

  2. anne says...

    so much i want to say. so much i can’t say. our hearts & home are always open if you need a place to land.

  3. Josh Dudleston says...

    Dave, you have an amazing talent at placing others right next to you when you write. I don’t have cancer (I don’t think) but for a moment I felt as though I did. I can only imagine the roller coaster of thoughts and emotions this has brought on for you. I think it’s clear we all really want you to live a really long time. But, live or die I will say this: All the time you have spent in AA bettering yourself had nothing to do with wanting a lifetime of of joy and happiness. It spawns from the need to have just a moment where we don’t hate ourselves for what we have become. You used to have no reason to live by your own words (wanted to die… Same thing). Now your are scared to die because you have a reason to live. That’s fucking amazing. You have become a person who matters to people. You have become a person who matters to YOU. All those moments spent doing things for others has defined your character. That’s why you will never be “the cancer guy” or someone who will ever be “forgotten”. I have no business telling you how to feel or deal with this situation but as a friend I can say that I am glad that you chose to spend your time bettering yourself and becoming who you are today. You have said things in meetings that touched me and impacted my way of thinking, your blogs have taken me way outside of myself and into a different pair of shoes… Those are things that I will remember whether you die, move to Seattle and share an apartment with Lucas, or kick cancers ass again decide to go off the grid and live like the people in the show “live free or die” ( arguably, equal fates), or you end up being just fine. I think about my mortality a lot. More so now than ever after watching what you have been through and having increasing health issues as I get older. The fact remains this; I think I would rather live by the principles upon which I can love myself even in the moment of my death, than abandon them to selfishness and regret.

    You have given us so much by your strength and vulnerability. I thank you for that.

    And if anything I said pisses you off you can totally tell me to fuck off. Haha. I love you Dave and I have a lot of hope for you, nay, confidence for your well being.

  4. Amanda Ewing says...

    Your utter honesty is so refreshing in a world where we’re trained to say, “I’m doing good,” every time we’re asked. However, in my utter honesty, to think that the work you have done to better yourself isn’t worth it, is craziness. You have been able to contribute yourself to life in a way that you wouldn’t have been able to had you stayed stuck where you were. We barely know each other Dave. We worked together for probably less than a year. Hell, you may have a tough time picturing my face. But you made an impact on me. Your depth and the searching of your soul always intrigued me. You have made a difference in this world, even if you don’t recognize it. I thought you were a wicked cool boss ;0) So now, although I don’t know if you’ll appreciate this sentiment, please know that it comes from a good place. I am praying for you, and I truly believe that God loves you and has all the hope and comfort that you ever need if you just ask. I know, I know, you’re cringing. I remember our old conversations. But hey, I appreciate your honesty. Hopefully you can appreciate mine. You’re in my thoughts Dave. Keep fighting.

  5. Kyle Robbins says...

    This. This right here is the writing I love from you. I agree completely with Josh. You have an amazing way with invoking emotion in the reader. I try to leave my replies on your writing, but in reference to having nothing to show for the years of work you’ve put in, I think that is crap. Every person I see you come in contact with immediately lights up. Quit selling yourself short and take a look at the amount of love and joy you bring your community. I can honestly say my recovery would not be the same if it wasn’t for you. You have shown me what it means to be a brother among brothers. You have shown me that it doesn’t take years to be a friend to someone. You have shown me that in the face of adversity it is still ok to laugh. Whether you are here 30 more days or 30 more years, the footprints you’ve made will not be washed away.

  6. Michael Hallas says...

    Your mom had the answer, and I’ll pray you’re not sick.

  7. Milton says...

    Dave I read all the comments so far and they are all right on! You have touch so many lives there’s no way you’ll be forgotten!!! I like Scott have been around a little longer then you but now know I don’t know as much as I use to think I did I just have my experiences. I believe everyone lives on the thoughts and actions of other people they touched during there life, and have many people that have been touched by you. Live in the moment, till you know for sure keep living like you’ll die at 90 some day. If it is confirmed later then deal with it then. They haven’t given you and expiration date YET! Everything we learn today can help some one else tomorrow! Keep writing it takes the power out of your head. Lots of prays for you my friend! And I not on the other side of the tunnel, probably in the middle some where.

  8. Mark says...

    Dude, u will never be forgotten whenever that time comes! Hell I don’t know u that well & I love U, in that good ole back slapping, guy thang way! Had to clarify! LOL. I wanted to eat a bullet or stick a needle in my arm & go out feeling nothing & hearing nothing yesterday! My father in law was diagnosed with a cancerous spinal tumor yesterday, not why I wanted to eat the bullet! But I’ve been up thinking & sending nothing but strong positive energy to him & now u, brother! Stay positive, Dave, as u’ve been an inspiration to me with ur honesty, goodness & wish to be happy! It gives me hope!

  9. Micah Perry says...

    Shit. Hey other cancer guy I can relate just a little. So, and I know you’re not s’posed to use bad grammar and all but… So I went through all those years of continuous cancer surgeries and it was complete and total hell but I got just enough out of it to keep me going and now here I am supposedly recovering from that whole fiasco I’ve graduated from the phys rehab, I’ve relaunched the business I had to close a couple years ago, and I’ve finally sold the old cancer house moved away from the Cancerific NW coast but I shit you not man I don’t feel any better right now. I’ve reached a wall in the recovery. I’m finding that the toll it has taken on my body is beyond repair. I’m a fucking invalid. That does not look like a very pc word.

    I feel the same way I felt when I was told I would die very soon and I should get my affairs in order. Happy joyous and free seems like a very different time, a much younger time, or earlier. Today in the mtg I expressed how I think my friends who died young might’ve been lucky. It isn’t a depression thought it’s a logical one. I feel like that horse that the cowboy-hatted fellow shoots cause he broke an ankle. Yes I can find joy yes I can find happy but also yes it takes more work then before. Also yes I am not allowed to kill myself because I am still very far away from that.

    Anyway I wanted to tell you I know, and it is very strange. Suddenly life is turned up to eleven and perspective shifts to an inexplicable orientation that means nothing to syntax or verbiage. A very lone experience. Thanks for sharing your ride man it’s a trip. My favorite death so far was my sponsor’s friend in Hawaii dying from aids stuff and I’m in like my first year and he brings me into this room where this tiny bit of human was in a bed and this guy is asking me how I AM, what step am I having a hard time with, (you know) and he’s just trying to help ME. The dies the end. Right in front of me it was fucking amazing it was the most wild trip I’ve ever been on. He was happy, smiling the entire time, even the last breath I was totally hooked on what this guy was doing, saying, and I was so new and stupid but I totally got that that was the way to die. All those other bodies I walked over have nothing on this guy, or this way. I’ll keep following the narrative and grasping at the interesting parts. When we’re dried up old bits of leather that’ll be interesting too.
    All my love.

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