Permission to Have a Future

When we first started talking about whether we would move or renew our lease, I said on Twitter that making the decision felt like placing a bet on how long I was going to live. As we discussed choices and toured a few places, I found myself saying things like, “Yes, but if I get really sick in the next year, what would we do about those stairs?”
 
I made the decision before the scans last week that I was making the wrong choice–not about apartments or stairs, but about the kind of assumptions I should be making about my path forward. I wasn’t being true to myself: I’m an optimist. I was letting myself assume my path would be dark.
 
I made the conscious decision to let myself plan a year or two down that path. I made the choice to assume for that year or so, I’m going to feel fine. The scan results were a nice period at the end of that sentence, as if the universe was saying, “Yes, it’s OK to believe you have a future, at least one that will last a year or two.”
 
I check for new articles on combination trials with epacadostat every couple weeks, and this article just came up. The patient had lung cancer that metastasized, and he’s been on the earlier sister trial to mine, with Keytruda (same basic drug as Opdivo) and epacadostat. His cancer started shrinking after nine weeks and has remained diminished and stable now for four and a half years.
 
Four and a half years? That’s an eternity to me right now. I’m still not thinking that far ahead… but to know that’s even a possibility? It’s going to take a while to process the concept.
 
Meanwhile, my new giant box of 200 earplugs just arrived, and we’re signing an 18-month lease on an apartment that we love. This feels like my fourth second chance, and I’m going to try not to spend any of this time worrying. Or, to quote our favorite line from Fantastic Beasts:

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