I’m going through a lot right now. The details will have to wait for the test results that are still pending. It’s not going to be good though; we know that much. My emotions go from despair to anger to just plain numbness. Yesterday, I ran down the street and everything was surreal. I saw the houses passing but I couldn’t feel a thing. By the way, it’s hard to see when you are crying.
I reach to the blogosphere at night and early morning for a grasp of something more normal than what is happening here and now. But I can’t quite process what I am reading – so please post pictures when you have them. I have just been clicking into my bloglines subscriptions and perusing the photos. There were some great ones today of places that people have probably run to. They are photos that take me to a more peaceful place. If for a few minutes, I go somewhere that is easier and less devastating than here.
And yet, I am needed here for hugs and the little comfort that I can offer. Those tender moments are precious folks. Hold the hand of those that you love – hold on tight and don’t let go. That’s what I’m doing.
The dog just puked bile on the floor and I stumble over to let him out before too much damage has been done to the house. I look around at the clutter – the half-folded laundry, unopened mail, and basic signs of too much to do with too little time. Life is too short to worry about a perfect house. That’s been my theory – but I could use a little more order.
It’s more sleep deprivation for me. I’m sitting on 2 hours of sleep – if even that much. I’ve always said that I was born with bags under my eyes – it’s a genetic gift from my Guamanian ancestry. I’m afraid to look into the mirror to see just how much more excess baggage has manifested.
Memories of rough times in the past years floods my mind. It seems that as I get older, there is more and more stuff to deal with. It kind of sucks – getting old. I will be strong.
Now, I need to make myself a bit more presentable so that I can fake being “okay” and be the pillar of strength that I must portray.
I was finally able to run again today. My blister site was dried out, but now the skin was stiff. I feared that it would crack if I moved it too much. But my foot and running were the last thing on my mind. I applied a piece of the Neosporin scar removal that was left over from my fall in December 2005. Honestly, I don’t care about scarring on my foot. Who’s going to see it? But I did remember that the stuff made my skin nice and soft.
It worked, by noon I was able to hit the sidewalk again. I let my mind wander as I ran. I brought myPod along today so that I could forget that I was “training” and use my running to help me process the stress. It was stress that led me to calling in sick today.
During my run, I let my thoughts go back to last night.
Dear Dr. K:
It’s been nearly 6 years since we last sat in your room discussing the prognosis of my late husband’s cancer. In our visit, you informed us that he had a year to live – with or without palliative treatment.
The night after our visit with you, we met with the children and told them the news. He and I were relieved as, based on my previous experience with cancer patients, I was expecting you to tell us 3-6 months max. Much to our surprise, he went downhill fast from there. We soon found out, at an ER visit, that there were multiple notations in his medical record that a hospice referral was warranted once a confirmatory diagnosis was made. He died two week later.
I have done a lot of soul searching and healing since then. The kids, who were angry with us for “lying to them,” have done much healing as well – thank God. Still, I wonder why you didn’t tell us that he had less than 6 months (as hospice would imply) or, at least stress that we had a year at the maximum. Unfortunately, you did not.
I tell you all of this, not because I am still mad. I certainly was for a long time. I am telling you because I feel the reminder is important for all healthcare providers. It is not just about the person who has been diagnosed; it is about the family left behind! Moreover, I write this because I feel that this letter is the one thing left that I need to do for my own healing. It needed to be said – for me. I am sorry that we were not fortunate enough to have even a chance to have you help us fight the cancer. I understand that you are quite skilled in what you do. My prayers go out to you in the efforts you put forth to help all of those who do have a fighting chance.
Thank you for reading.