…….and trying to stay mindful of whose experience this really is.
Late last night, my husband and I went for a walk around the hospital floor, holding hands and talking just like we did when we were young. I can imagine what a picture we presented to the hospital staff, who watched us wistfully in much the same way as I myself have watched other husbands and wives during my nursing career.
I already feel so lost. Pancreatic cancer with spread to the liver has two chances of cure: slim and none. I know the statistics, and I’ve taken care of people who went on to die from this. Some got a year or two out of it; others only months. Where Will’s case stands, only the good Lord knows at this point because he hasn’t had the needle biopsy yet that will tell us how advanced the cancer is.
He still wants to fight. Personally, I’m all about quality of life rather than quantity at this point; we’ve had 33 good years together, and if that is all God is going to allow us, then let’s do hospice and keep him comfortable in this final season of his life. But this is not about me, and by golly, whatever he wants, he’s going to get if I can possibly make it happen.
What I fear is that he wants to fight only because of me, and that is unacceptable. This will be the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through in my life, but I’ll survive somehow (even though I’m crazy angry at having to stay behind when he goes!!!). I don’t WANT him to suffer needlessly so he can be here for a miserable six months instead of a good three months. But again, it’s up to him, because it’s HIS life and he wants to try to get better, if not well.
This is one of those times when the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous comes in handy, especially the part about taking things one day at a time. Sometimes it’s one CRISIS at a time, or one white-knuckled minute at a time, but the point is, today is all we have to hold onto……and today, my husband is alive and smiling and eating a cheeseburger, just like normal.
I did call my p-doc a little while ago per Will’s request; while I’m not in a psychiatric crisis, I did have some brief suicidal ideation yesterday that I promptly put out of my mind because I couldn’t do that…..to him or the kids. However, I AM having much more anxiety than usual and want the doc’s OK to either increase the Klonopin or let me go back to using PRN Ativan. I can’t be running around crying all the time—it doesn’t change anything, and I look ghastly in the bargain.
And so it goes.