Months To Years Fall 2018 Months To Years Fall 2018 - Page 47

then to part for the families . . . sake of our children. But, to survive, we also The diagnosis added a can’t operate,” the head surgeon from the does one cope in that situation? There wasn’t any have to find How a way to new layer “We of chaos to neurological oncology department declared. other option. I either coped or became another burden on stay calm amid all the an emotionally-charged Brad. He was processing the fact that he would not see his we see. chapter in “Treatments our lives. won’t make any difference. You have suffering six children grow up. That they would not know him. That his “ parents would be devastated. And that I would eventually I missed the announcement. I was at home waiting for my move on to someone new. mother, so that she could take care of my children while I I stood with Brad. The doctor didn’t concern himself with tried my best to not think beyond the next meal and Brad was the patient and his family merely incidental. I didn’t “ had just turned two and my baby was a mere five months “ doctor appointment. It was all about now. Malignant meant cancer. Cancer was bad. From my experiences with it, cancer was usually lethal. But the voice on the phone kept going, expecting me to keep up with the particulars she rattled off. It amounted to one fact—my husband was very sick. “ “ such matters though. Again, Yes, the same tan of interns who see the team moccasins looked with anywhere tassels but at Brad lying alone in his hospital bed. that John used to wear, I only arrived in time to hear the same Argyle black- Brad tell the on-call doctor that and-gray socks, and the he was going home, despite same dark brown protests. floppy fringe. But there are no “May like I pray for you and your streaks of gray John’s family then?” We weren’t and no dimple in his religious people, but it was the chin. He is so very much best he could offer. like John, but the cold months. reality is Six that he’s It wasn’t enough far. We were supposed to a stranger by and John in a few weeks. Our oldest is not move here. “ “ “ months to a year to live.” While neighbors drove off to their nine-to-five jobs, we watched the world slip away without us. Brad was in a race against time that he would never win. All we could do was face the day. I tried to stay strong but struggled through almost everything. I railed against wallpaper that wouldn’t come off the walls in Taryn’s room. I burned myself on the oven but refused to acknowledge any pain in the face of Brad’s much larger ailments. The silencing of my voice came at a cost I old. There was too much to do. Too much living yet to be would grapple with for years to come. But in that moment, done. Radiation and chemotherapy might buy us time, I wasn’t the main player in our drama. It was Death. And but doctors made it clear they weren’t cures. There was no fair was non-existent in those days. People like to talk about Have you ever smelled cure now. Brad’s new palliative care doctor explained that the coming it was dark? The over quantity. cancer survivors having now quality So, what could we do but live. Brad was my inspiration. way the plants breathe a new lease He on refused life, cancer a the upper hand. Sure, there was became a numb. his or renewed chemo, sense radiation treatments, oncology and palliative new out a musty I sigh, thick My words, lost. Brad discussed death with doctors, while I had nightmares whispered imminent greeting to of purpose, appointments, a desire not to mention desperate last-ditch trips to about his funeral. Our conversations rallied around the a naturopath to see if she could do anything. But he also to drink up the world the gathering quiet? naturopathic remedies we clung to for hope, the ongoing staunchly went on with living life. The way renovations the dirt that is Brad stubbornly pushed through, as his they relish every debilitating headaches, and the mundane details We time. moved. He took up juicing and swallowed overtaken sudden by shadow moment of what to make for dinner. I was fragile and That pushed didn’t on extraordinary happen to amounts of naturopathic pills to stave off and it holds of its moisture the best I could but struggled with banal tasks. ill effects of chemotherapy. He planned out and built close, making fragrant me. All I felt the was guilt a bathroom in the basement of our new home. We even its cold stone? and grief and loss. 47 “ “