“I can’t tell you anything else to tell you how much I love you”
After the good news to end the week, it was easy to take a deep breath, smile and be thankful. Have we dodged a bullet? Maybe, but we will be dodging it for a while. I think that is why cancer victims rally and stick together. The treatment time is for many years. I might be wrong, but I’ve not noticed this kind of camaraderie and community of survivors for heart attack survivors or by-pass surgery survivors.
The weekend was filled with our children’s sports events (soccer and golf) as well as concerts, the Blue Angels, Fleet Week, and professional sporting events. Our 9-year old golf prodigy son lost against an 18 year old in a golf match and although he’s tough on himself and had very little chance to win anyway, he gained a great perspective. As a dad all you try to do is encourage your child and make sure that kind of event doesn’t damage him. Afterwards I patted him on the back and told him how proud I was and that he was very poised and gracious in defeat. He laughed and said, “Dad, he was twice my age. It won’t be the last time I lose a match. There are more important things if you know what I mean.” Nothing can make a parent more proud than to try and teach one’s child a life lesson and to be reminded of one of the more important lessons in life. You just don’t expect to get reminded by a 9 year old.
That afternoon at the soccer match I caught my wife sitting on a grassy hill (making sure she didn’t get accidentally hit my a soccer ball) She had her eyes closed and I wanted to make sure she wasn’t suffering from more exhaustion. She smiled and replied, “I’m okay. The sun feels good. It has never felt this good. I just want to soak it all in”. It isn’t like she’d been out since the surgery, but I knew what she was doing. Something she hadn’t done in a while. She was smelling the roses. The good news had taken a huge weight off her shoulders (something she hadn’t been able to express).
She looked so peaceful all by herself with the Blue Angel pilots flying over head during Fleet Week. I’m sure she didn’t even hear the planes roaring. We’ve aged so much in the last few months. Maybe we haven’t aged, but we sure haved lived a lot.
I watched the “Bucket List” again with her and she sobbed. It meant more to watch it now. Her perspective changed now that the chemo was not in her near future. She could laugh now. Her own bucket list would now be more thoughtful. Her sobs were of relief. Of sorrow. Of joy. I had been afraid to hold her til now. I didn’t want to hurt her.
Today was her fourth meeting with the plastic surgeon. We’re almost done and he said that a middle of November final surgery for the swap would be likely. It will give her time to rest before Thanksgiving. The recovery time might be about 2 weeks and only 5% of all patients need drains afterward. Along with the hormone therapy we decide on, it will be the last mile of this journey. It will be a long last mile but a journey worth traveling.