Sunday, June 11, 2023

8 years, 8 months

"Can we keep going and find a way into chronic management of lung cancer? Can the drugs keep developing and give Dan an extended life with disease? I feel fortunate to even be asking these questions eight months after his diagnosis. And yet, I haven’t found my peace with it all. Does one ever?" - Eight Months 5.18.15

I wasn't prepared for the changes that came. Major life changes. Changes that were connected to Dan's disease or perhaps just circling on the periphery. Moving. Dan having multiple surgeries. His disability income with no hope of earning more than he does, ever again. I wasn't prepared but I have tried to accept it all. 

Changes that were unrelated came with brutal force. My mother died. I spent this Mother's Day at the cemetary for the seventh time. I watched my father drift into some sort of point on the Lewy Body Dementia spectrum. Rachel and I became surrogate mothers to him-helping with his medical care, finances, medications, and sometimes personal care.

If you had spoken to me eight years ago I would have anticipated Dan being taken care of such as this, or worse. At one point I believed finding my mother lifeless or showering my father were preparing me for those moments with Dan. This is just where my mind ends up. Isn't every experience preparing you for the next? However nothing has surprised me more than being here right next to him, so many years later, in our same side by side spots in a nest of sheets, fingers intertwined as we fall asleep. And I am living life as if he doesn't have cancer. My only reminders are his CTs and MRIs every few months. And they continue to show everything unchanged. So I feel peaceful about his cancer. Most of the time.

I am just following his lead of focusing on positive things--including making future plans.

The unbelievable...Sweden celebrating Midsummer Day. I'll bring a white sundress and wear a crown of flowers. We'll move onto Amsterdam with crowded streets of bicycles and canals, flower festivals, and poignant places to visit. Make Raine's dream come true and visit Paris. Let him sweat and consider going back down as he climbs those stairs, but then finally reach the elevator that takes him to the top of the tower.

And the ordinary: Let's have lunch together tomorrow; a new restaurant. Savoring al pastor or tacos de lengua, guacomole with the right amount of lime, a cuban cocktail with tequila and squirt with a splash of coke. A tall glass of smooth horchata with cinnamon.

Let's spend the evening on the patio and play with our beautiful son. Our crazy dog.

I am hopeful for another year, and then maybe another 8 years. To sit down and write another blog post like this. Wouldn't that be amazing.

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