Back From The Brink
And just as quickly as my mood plunged, it’s come back up. Today I felt almost normal, despite the fact that nothing has changed for the better (except, perhaps, for our spectacular 97-degree weather…..I love the heat) and we’re going to lose our cable/Internet by Monday. There just isn’t enough money to keep all three utilities and the car insurance going. Oh well, as Dr. Awesomesauce says, sometimes life just sucks.
I think having some household items cleaned up, ready to sell, and posted on Craigslist helps a little. Will has been busting his buns getting it all done, and I think on some level it’s given him some control over the situation and made him feel better. His happy mood has evidently rubbed off on me as well, which is why I was able to go to my primary-care doctor today and say in all honesty that I’m OK.
It was weird in a way, going to a doctor other than Dr. A, even though Dr. L has been my internist for over 20 years. I’m supposed to go in every 3-6 months for what I call “maintenance” (late-middle-aged body + diabetes = lots of MD visits) and I hadn’t been in for over a year. Mostly, we chatted about Will, who is also his patient, and the admiration he holds for my husband on account of his attitude toward fighting the cancer.
“You know, I’m only saying this because he’s NOT, but I thought for sure he was going to be dead within two months,” Dr. L admitted as he gave me a brief physical exam. “If it had been the kind of cancer we all feared, he would’ve been. And some people with his diagnosis will say ‘to hell with it’, give up, and go home to die. But now, look at him—he’s gotten better, he looks great, and he’s not going anywhere.”
I felt proud, listening to him talk that way about Will. I have developed a sort of magical thinking when it comes to the cancer—as long as he’s well enough to do his usual activities and enjoy his life, the tumors won’t grow. I see him bopping around the house on his appointed rounds, whistling a happy tune, walking the dog around the property, working on his models, and I think: He’s fine. Nothing bad can possibly happen.
As a clinician, I know better. As a wife…..well, it works for me.
And there he is in the La-Z-Boy, fast asleep in front of the TV, tired out after the day’s exertions in the heat. It used to drive me crazy when he’d nap in the evenings when I was awake and wanting to talk; by contrast, he’s an early-morning person and gets chatty just about the time I wake up, when I’m hating the world and neither know nor care about what to have for dinner.
Now I’m happy just to glance over at him and see that he’s still here, still being and doing and loving, and I know he’s the main reason why I have once again been pulled back from the brink. How can I even think about letting go of life when he’s fighting so hard for his?