God, how I love her.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Stalemate

We're in a stalemate at the moment; some of the cancer is beaten and the rest is not and is continuing to grow. Silver lining? We made it to Ireland in July. It was great. I'll never forget it.

Right now? I'm simply exhausted. Some days are really, really hard and it is impossible to find the correct words to describe it. Other days things feel normal and life rolls along so well it is possible to be angry with each other instead of being afraid for each precious moment.

Some days the fear is too strong to bother with real life things like bickering over the dishes in the sink or who is supposed to walk the dog. Some days the petty little details of a shared existence are just too petty to even merit acknowledgement.

Now and again, it is almost possible to actually forget. Sometimes it is easy to sleep without nightmares or cold sweat fear. Not often, but sometimes.

Right now- I'm living for sometimes.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Well, I'm back.

It's been too long since I've posted here. I admit that a lot of that has sprung up from my denial of how serious her cancer is/ has become. For a long time, we both allowed ourselves to get comfortable in the fact that more often than not, she has felt "fine". With the exception of the occasional headache that makes her wish she was dead or the infrequent visits to the doctor, we have been able to live in our little Piscean fishbowl. It would seem now that we are not going to have that option available anymore.

Last week, Tuesday to Saturday, she was at Stanford University Medical Center participating in a stage one clinical trial. This trial will hopefully beat what she's got, a form of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma that goes after the brain and spinal column. It's generally very, very serious and the immediate diagnosis at a glance seems like a death sentence. I can't believe those words can come from my fingertips, but that is the very real and frightening reality we are faced with.

We knew that the cancer hadn't been beaten by the radiation of a year ago, but with the lack of daily symptoms, we've just remained optimistic. About a month or so ago, she got the knews of the diagnosis and the explanations of the severity of it. Needless to say, we are both still very much in shock and I, for one, am still taking refuge in my denial. I mean, she can't die. She's the strongest and bravest person I've ever known- so she can't die.

She pretty much credits Stanford for keeping her alive to this point after she was in a different clinical trial there in 1997. It was this faith in them that allowed her the courage to go into this current trial. She came home tired and obviously not her self, but feeling like she had received the very best quality of care possible. She even blogged the experience with her typical sense of humor and amazing ability to capture the essence of the moment and her feelings. I still say she is the best writer nobody has ever heard of.

Neither of us knows what lies ahead for her and the two of us, but we are counting the days down to our trip to Italy in August, when my sister gets married there. On the way over, we're stopping in England for a few days and she and I are going to Ireland for the day. It has been my dream to get her to Ireland ever since she told me the cancer was back. We are now just hoping to accomplish that together. I know how fierce her will is and have no doubt she can win this fight. She is just stubborn enough to pull it off.

we've only told our 13 year-old what is happening, in bits and pieces, but our 5 year-old is still blissfully unaware- which we prefer. At this point, it would just be scary and wouldn't be something she could really grasp. She's a very smart little girl, but we're not confident we can explain things to her yet in a way that she can understand. That may change, but we are playing it safe for now.

Andrew was a wonderful help last week, when it was just me and the kids. He did a great job helping me with his sister and the dog (our 8 month old Cairn Terrier that my wife got for her birthday). He was great. I tried to thank him and praise him as much as possible; he and I have had a fairly traditional conflict-filled father-teenage son relationship the past several months. We had a great time together though last week and I know I would have been a wreck without him. His Father's Day card to me had me crying, of course, because it meant so much more to me this year. I'm lucky.

That is part of the thing that is so bittersweet about these times in our lives; we find out what and where our blessings are when we feel like our worlds are collapsing around us. I know that I am married to the greatest woman I could have ever gotten involved with. She is my very best friend. She is the greatest lover I've ever had. She is the most wonderful and intelligent parent. She has the greatest capacity for compassion. In short, she's the best thing to ever happen to me. I also have two wonderful children who fill my heart with such joy and love. I want to kill them nearly every damned day, but that is always a fleeting frustration that goes away. I recognize my blessings in them. I have wonderful friends and family who really care for us and who are always there to help support us in one way or another. I hope that we don't have to draw upon that resource, but it is such an amazing gift to know it is there in our lives.

I try to remain optimistic in the face of bad news because that is my job- Mr. Optimism. My wife counts on me to always search for the Silver Lining in these things. I'm the one who is supposed to brush her hair out of her eyes and tell her that everything will be ok. It's a job I take very seriously too. She and the kids need that and deserve it.

For all that is happening, we are blessed to have each other. I wouldn't change a thing if I had been told this would happen. I knew what I was getting in to when I married her. I knew her past and I knew that there could be a risk. But I wouldn't lose the experience of marriage and fatherhood with her for all the world. My children and my wife are my life. On top of it, I have spen the past 9 years loving the woman who just so happens to be my best friend. I know that the coming days could throw an immeasurable amount of sorrow at me and the kids, but I can't say that I would prefer to have never known what I know now of love and true companionship.

I love her too damned much...

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Today's love poem for my wife;

Sparkling eyes
Sparkling wit
Sparkling conversation

A life
Together
Full
Of love
Laughter
Smiles
Toes touching
Under covers
Children
Giggling
Toys on the floor
Clothes on the floor
Stains on the floor

Content
To be
Together.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

I'm still here.

I created this space as a place to go to for therapy, to get away from work and other distractions and focus on bringing myself peace and understanding in living with my wife's cancer and helping her to heal and be loved. Instead, I have found that my fear has kept me from coming here and "facing things" and I have spent even more time working and being distracted. Running away is more of what I have done- not away from her- away from my own feelings and fears.

Honestly, I don't know if I will be able to get myself to come back more frequently. This coming year is going to be full of anxiety and challenges. She will begin new treatment in January and it looks like it will be very intensive. That obviously frightens the hell out of me, but it is also a sign that she is ready to fight hard and I know how good she is at that. Nobody fights harder.

Work is a distraction, not therapy. I will be trying to come back for therapy and to strengthen myself for her and to be better able to carry the load for her.

She asked that I change the title of this blog from She Can't Die to something else, so that is why this space is now called God, How I Love Her. It works for me.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

It's been a long time...

I can't believe it has been so long since I was here. Things have been pretty good for us, overall, so I guess that is why.

My wife's health has been holding up, though treatment hasn't been happening. Well, a solid diagnosis hasn't either. The more exposure I have to the medical establishment, the more I detest it. I know- there are good parts as well, but where are they in my wife's life? I could get really angry about it right now, but I won't.

We had a great weekend together this weekend. Sent the kids away and spent time together, just the two of us. We debated going out of town, but ended up staying home and enjoying ourselves in our own town/ home. It was nice spending time together without looking at our watches, wondering what time we needed to leave and get the kids. It was also nice to have an adult beverage and walk home late at night too. I've been traveling a lot over the past 3-4 weeks, so it was much needed bonding time this weekend. It was nice to sleep naked together, like the "old days" and not worry about the kids coming in. Oddly, we ended up missing the kids and were very happy to get them back. I guess we really do love them after all.

My denial is as strong as ever. I found myself feeling frightful at times this weekend, like this was the last time I'd hold her this way, and then I would just force the thought out of my mind. She's strong enough that I can tell her every thought in my mind, no matter how serious, but I'm too scared for my self. I'm less worried about how she'll feel than I am about me dealing with my real feelings about the situation. Frankly, just typing this confession is a little too much.

The smell of her curly hair, as I held her during the night, was completely intoxicating. I just wanted to stay wrapped naked around her for forever. I've been blessed to be with her.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Time keeps ticking away.

I can't believe it's been nearly a month since I have posted here. Things have been extremely busy with work (the real job) and is beginning to pick up again with the personal business as well. Fortunately though, life does keep moving on.

Things have been good and bad as of late. Her health has been ok, not feeling too terrible lately. However, she has something going on with her kidneys. It could just be an infection and she is taking antibiotics to see if that helps. It could possibly be more sinister than that though and that is obviously the fear. On top of it all, our son has been giving us fits with "behavioral problems", just like any boy going on 13 might be expected to. It's just that neither of us has the emotional strength to cope with anything "extra" right now. Needless to say, we've been more tired lately than we have been in a long time.

The worst thing in all of this lately has been the medical profession. I know that doctors and nurses get a bad wrap. I come from a long line of nurses in my family and they are all very compassionate people, but my wife isn't getting them for her care. Between doctors that don't keep appointment times and generally seem confused as to why she is even there, to nurses who think the best way to draw blood is to essentially beat you into submission, I've come close to sending a few people to the emergency room myself. It is unfair to say that all in the profession are like this and I know that the stresses these folks face are very immense, but I can't understand the lack of gentleness and sensitivity when these people are dealing with a woman who may be dying of a disease with no known cure. When I get that call from my wife about how she was jabbed 4, 5, 6 times to draw blood for a sample by some asswipe who could care less that she is needle-phobic and tends to pass out/ puke, my blood seems to quite literally come to a boil. If it were not for the fact that she has to go back to see these same folks for more care, I'd go into the office and start breaking some arms and legs. But I've learned that only makes me feel better and not my wife.

It is impossible to put into words just how much I love her. I go to bed looking for answers every night. Unfortunately, I don't wake up any smarter.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I wish we knew.

I wish we knew what was happening or could happen. Stupid to say, I know, since we all wish we knew things about life. But, man, this stuff is is making us insane. It's this, or this, or maybe this... but it could also be this. I'm whining, I know, but...

All I want is for my wife to be healthy and in absence of that, for us to at least know what we are dealing with and how we can live with whatever it is. Our children need to have their mother around to love them and I need my wife around for me to love.

That's all.