When I was a wee child I would recite a prayer before bed each night:

Now I lay me down to sleep and I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.

And then my parents would turn off the light and shut the door to my bedroom, leaving me alone with that happy thought. A stupid little prayer that scared the shit out of me and was undoubtedly at least partially at the root of a life long case of acute anxiety. I mean, WTF? No wonder I suffered from nightmares.

I thought of this prayer today as I have begun to preface so very many of my thoughts with ‘and if I live.’ Irony free.

Only someone who has been in my position where death is not just a possibility but rather a probability can understand.

It is rather like being in an out of control vehicle, hurtling headlong to a bluff overlooking the ocean. There is a remote chance that you will be able to steer the car to safety at the last moment. However, as you don’t want to waste a moment of what might be your last time on earth, you are also doing your utmost to enjoy the scenery.

It is that flipping surreal.

I have a CT scan on Tuesday which will give a clinical assessment of where we are at. From the objective of the person who is in this body, I can only tell you that it’s getting harder and harder to breathe in here. Hardly encouraging.

And yet the view out the window? Still extraordinary.


17 responses to “If

  1. Taste it all.

    On Sun, Jan 19, 2020 at 8:27 PM life and breath: outliving lung cancer wrote:

    > linnea11 posted: ” When I was a wee child I would recite a prayer before > bed each night: Now I lay me down to sleep and I pray the Lord my soul to > keep. If I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. And then my > parents would turn off the light and shut the” >

  2. I have been thinking about you s lot.
    And I remember that prayer so clearly. The words are a little different today than they were back then. But the way you remember, is the way I remember it. Really, WTF? As a Small child hearing those words. And repeating that prayer. If I die before I wake?
    You are so talented with the way You share your story, your feelings, your blog… You continue to inspire me and help bring light to each day.
    Thank you Linnea
    I wish there were something I could do for you. As I know you do so much for so many.

  3. Sending some peace and hugs 🙏💫

  4. I second everything Pamela and Gwen said. I’m glad you posted today because you’ve been on my mind, with many hopeful wishes that you were doing better. Frankly,I’ve been worried. My husband is going through many of the same things you are. It’s a club we didn’t want to join, right? Your determination and your spirit have been an inspiration. Sending hugs to you.

  5. Linnea –
    We grew up down the street from one another… This is the version I grew up praying each night:
    “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. Keep me safely through the night, and wake me with the morning light”. May you always be kept safely thru the night and wake to the joy of the morning light. Love you dear friend . ❤ m .

  6. No matter where you are on the road , the beginning ,middle , and everywhere in between ,you can never see the end xxxxx best wishes sent to you always
    Sandra xxxxxxx

  7. Chloe Edwards Bird

    I am so glad you posted. I wish you better prayers, better answers, and more options for steering away from the cliff and enjoying the scenery. My husband Allen’s trajectory has shifted similarly though apparently more rapidly than yours. The steering mechanisms for adjusting his course aren’t operating at this point. He is fading away.
    I am continually grateful for your articulation of your experiences with lung cancer and your vibrant commitment to life and advocacy. It informs my thinking on the science, ethics and policies (which are my work life) and on Allen’s (and by association my) course with this awful disease.
    May your greatest concerns never come to pass. And may you, Allen, and our many friends in this involuntary club, enjoy the scenery and the desserts to your last breath.

  8. Judy Kasey Houlette

    Sending you much love and gratitude, Linnea.

  9. I know how much you focus on that view “out the window” as in the 5 years we’ve been friends you continue to enhance and expand that view for me as well! 👈🏼❤️

  10. Love strength good thoughts and prayers for turn for better, some good news! Xo 💪❤️

  11. Been following your posts for some time. I grieve for your suffering. My journey wasn’t cancer, but it was difficult. Had two cancer episodes since then, last one is still being followed up. Difficult, but nothing like what you are going through.
    I am ever grateful for the people who prayed for me and taught me a new way, and I am now praying for you. I just pray that Jesus will be with you in a very personal way and give you the comfort that you need. I pray for peace in your suffering and strength to know you are not alone.
    My two cancer bouts were healed, one (according to the specialist) miraculously. Two good friends passed away and another was sent home from hospital as a hopeless case. Phase 4 in lungs, spine, kidney and bowel. Monthly check-ups ordered. First check-up specialists were amazed that the bowel, kidney, spine were clear and the lung only had a tiny spot. Specialists declared it “impossible”, a miracle. All she had done was ask her friends to pray for her.
    All this encourages my prayers for you.
    May you be blessed with Jesus at your side.

  12. Karen Cunningham

    Wishing you only extraordinary views as you travel this very tough part of your journey. If karma were the only thing that counted, you would be guaranteed peace and happiness because of all you do that helps others. Thank you for being there when I have reached out. My husband, David, says he has scananxiety for you. Lots of folks pulling for you. Sending love

  13. my dear, TPX-0131 is starting ,phase I. Why not participate?I’m the same situation with you, PF3922 doesnt work on me any more,I do want to try 0131,but I’m in China ,have no chance.

  14. I never liked that prayer either! Sending you good JUJU and vibes for your upcoming scan.

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