After we got back from our honeymoon I mentioned that I went from the highest of highs, to the lowest of lows, and then I just got very quiet. I have been debating writing about this for the past 3 weeks, but I decided that I want record of it. The reason I started a blog was simple; so that I could remember the big, and little things happening at this point in my life. A random date night, a funny convo with my best friend, and special times with Pop, were all things I wanted to have in writing.
And I am already having a hard time remembering the exact contents of the conversation that PopPop and I had two days after we got home from Jamaica. (Maybe I should start taking Ginko Biloba or something?) I knew something was wrong. When we were in Jamaica I called him every day, and each day he kept getting shorter and shorter with me. He was just acting strange. And then when I got home I felt like he was avoiding me. I figured it was his way of dealing with the fact that I was a married woman now. But that wasn’t it.
He sat me down, while stroking my leg, and told me that he had made the decision to stop getting any treatment for his cancer. This is the end, he told me. And I cried, and cried, and cried, and I haven’t really stopped. He told me that the Doctors explained that the Chemo wasn’t working anymore, and it was just making him weak, and sick. He wanted to stop the treatment, and live out of the rest of his days with quality. I understood, I get it, but I HATE it. He said, “you’re my special baby, you have the most special place in my heart, and I will always be with you.”
How can this be my life? Why is this happening? I am angry, sad, hurt, overwhelmed, stressed, and a part of me is even relieved. I knew that it was going to happen. He has been sick for the past year, and for the past 7 months he has been telling everyone, “I just need to walk her down the aisle. My only goal is to make it to the wedding” So, stopping Chemo 4 days after he did just that, is not shocking.
So in the 3 weeks (I am losing track of time) since he made this decision he was put on Hospice. Every day another nurse, physical therapist, social worker, heath aide, etc. comes to the house, and it’s a glaring reminder that this is the end. I am his primary care giver, and let me tell you that it is a full time job. He is in a lot of pain, and I am in charge of giving his medicine. This sounds simple; it’s not. He has tumors on his brain, and they are growing. Every morning when I wake up, I don’t know if it is going to be a good day, or a “confused” day. I am up all through the night making sure that he is comfortable, and during the day I am trying to get him to eat something, drink water, and keeping him safe. FYI watching the person that you love most in this world take a big fall right before your eyes is world shattering.
It’s been a lot on me, and a lot on him. We are both frustrated and worn out. Oh, and on top of it all I am trying to figure out how to be a wife. I received one of the best emails of my life from my mother in law this week. Here is an excerpt that I have read over and over.
“And then coming home to Pop and having to face some tough news. Tough isn’t a strong enough word. I know you love him more than your own life. We all love Pop too. I can’t even think about him without tears. You are very fortunate to have him in your life. Relish every moment and remember what an honor it is to take care of him. I just want to say I love you, I’m proud of you and I hurt when you hurt. I pray that Myles can be strong for you. I pray that as you struggle through this upcoming year filled with many challenges you remember I will be here when you need me. But most of all remember that you are special to God and that he cares about every breath you take and He is in charge.”
Now I feel like I am just rambling, but all of this to say that I am trying to take every single moment and savor the time we have left together. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world, than by his side because for the last 24 years he has been at mine. I am most sad that my children won’t get to have their PopPop. He will never get to take them to his hunting farm, create wood working projects together in his garage, learn how to plant vegetables in his garden, decorate the Christmas tree in the way that only he can, be on the receiving end of his sage advice, or taste his incredible cooking. But I promise that they will always hear stories about him, and he will always be close to all of our hearts.