Subtitled : My laptop as analogy for my life
Those of you who are my friends on Facebook will know I had some issues with my laptop earlier this week.
It locked up and when I had to do a hard reboot by powering down and restarting it gave me a message on startup (black and white screen before booting to windows) – the message read as follows Smart message: Hard drive failure imminent – back up your files and replace hard drive immediately. Press F1 to continue.
Needless to say I pressed F1 and nothing happened. I powered it down again and when OH came home he pressed F8 repeatedly as it was starting up to get it to open in ‘safe mode’ and we got it up and running again and Gary did the back up of all my files. I do realise for those of you who aren’t computer geeks a lot of the last few sentences while not mean a lot to you but they are integral to the point of my story
Since then my laptop has been running smoothly but in talking to someone whose job it is to fix computers the hard drive is likely to fail soon. We could replace the hard drive but with laptops it becomes an issue whether it is just cheaper and easier to buy a new laptop.
I have used it for shorter amounts of time each day and made sure I havent got several programs running at once so I don’t overtax it but today because I have been home all day and on the computer a lot I have used OH’s desk PC just to be on the safe side. I can do this while OH is at work but it is a little more uncomfortable than being curled up on the couch like I usually am.
We are left with several dilemma’s
Do we go out and buy a new laptop and load all my stuff on it to allow for a smooth transition? Do we wait for it to die and then do it? Do we buy a new one and then find out the hard drive on my old one lasts a lot longer than expected? I had thought to buy a tablet (Ipad or similar to complement my laptop) but they don’t do everything I need so I have to let the idea of a tablet go.
My laptop has been my lifeline for the last 3 and a half years since initial diagnosis and will continue to be so. Whether it is writing blog posts for ‘Get Out Gertrude’ doing my Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition committee work, Uni study and assignments, or using Facebook for many purposes: – keeping up with friends and family, being part of IBC groups, or just playing games to ‘vege out’, etc and so many other activities I do on my laptop, it has allowed me the freedom to be on the sofa or even lying on my bed and being comfortable while I am keeping my mind actively engaged. I need a laptop to retain my sanity or what passes as the resemblance of sanity for me
How does this equate to my life?
I have sat at home all day waiting for some news from my oncologist as to what my scan showed. Although he was not going to have the official report he had hoped to look at it and make some decisions before he went away for a couple of weeks. If he hadn’t been going away I would have just seen him next week to discuss possible treatment plan changes.
Not knowing when my computer is going to fail is similar to not knowing what I am dealing with in regards to ‘Gertrude and her spawn’. As I have said in the past it is the not knowing that does my head in. It is so hard to make plans and decisions – either short term or longterm when timeframes are so indeterminate.
The not knowing doesnt just affect me – it affects my family too and their plans. Even when we get the news of my scan results and what the short term treatment options are there is still the bigger ‘what ifs’ and whens’ hanging over all our heads. What do I and they make as our priorities changes if I have got a shorter versus longer time to live.
And one thing that I have learnt along this journey making friends with other women with IBC or metastatic cancer is that the situation can change very fast and the end can come sooner than expected. My friend Susan (@whymommy) is entering that phase now. Say a prayer for her and her family- you can read her latest blog post here