First thing Tuesday morning I went into the hospital to get the PET scan that would tell if any cancer remained in my system.
I had one of these before, not long after being diagnosed. Though I was in much pain I was still able-bodied at that point. I caught the train in and did as directed as they prepared for and then executed the scans. It was a time of great suspense, and perhaps fear. The results of the tests would reveal how far the cancer had progressed and how far it had spread. On that the prognosis would hang. It was literally a matter of life and death.
On that occasion the blessed outcome was life – probably. I don’t know if these tests hang by such a critical thread, but the worst-case scenario would reveal untreatable cancer. That’s unlikely. Most likely – according to the blithe doctors – is that I’ll be given a clean bill of health.
I may get the results today, and it’s a biggie, I know, but I find myself not nearly as interested in the outcome as everyone else. I hope it’s good news, but if it isn’t I’ll just get on with it.
This is indicative of how I feel generally at the moment – unmotivated, disinterested, and wondering what the point of everything is. There has been a touch of this since around Christmas, but losing Rigby really nailed it.
Obviously, I’m grief-stricken, but there’s also the objective reality that my enjoyment of life is less with him gone – maybe 20-30% less. I’ve outlined most of the reasons why, but the one thing that I haven’t referred to is that all the love and affection I felt and would give to him has shrivelled up now that he’s gone. I needed that, and now I feel totally alone.
I remember in December when I was away writing about how I needed mental and intellectual stimulation, and how I’d missed it. It felt like the missing ingredient, and I was determined to reclaim it.
That was true, but a month or so later, I’m not interested. The same essays I read then with fascination now seem too dry and academic in the face of human loss and grief. Likewise, I’m uninterested in writing.
What this highlights to me is how we need a balance of emotional and intellectual stimuli. Add in spiritual, if you like. We’re all different, and so the ratios will vary from person to person. As I’ve found out, get the ratios wrong and life becomes a misery.
I felt quite positive when I wrote that in December. At that point, I had no idea that Rigby was unwell and ignorantly presumed that the emotional sustenance he gave me would continue. It was only a few days later that I discovered I was wrong.
As it stands, the scab will harden and ultimately the wound will heal, though the memory will remain. I’ll learn to live without what he gave me, though that seems an unsatisfactory solution. I’ll probably find myself returning to the dry words of scholarship and finding momentary distraction. I’ll get by, but really, it seems to me, if I mean someday to live meaningfully that I need to rebalance somehow.
For now, I would benefit just by having someone around. There’s nothing I need to say particularly, but it would be nice to have the option. It might seem strange, but Rigby filled that function, too. He was constant companion and the curious recipient of my occasional commentary. He seemed to understand. The grief I feel is compounded by the fact he’s not here to comfort or to listen. I’m closed in, and very sad.