Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lost in a Bad Neighborhood

That's where I've been lately. Unfortunately I take these dark alleys with me wherever I go, because this bad neighborhood is  of my own making in my very own head. Sometimes I get lost there, even though I designed much of it myself. There are words and numbers in these alleys, like Median Survival time. This is where the hurt feelings and the bad decisions in my life lie.

The pace of life seems to have picked up since Melanoma Man's brain tumors popped up. I spent a good week being furious with him and feeling utterly powerless and mad at myself for being mad at my cancer patient. There is lots of waiting, some of it necessary, some not so necessary. Joel, a friend of Melanoma Mans for 38 years, was in town from California visiting last Wednesday and Thursday. Joel was the Best Man at our wedding. Melanoma Man deferred his consultation with the Radiation Oncologist until this Wednesday due to Joel's visit. I suspect he will defer the procedure itself when they try to schedule his stereotactic brain radiation during Fourth of July week. "Fourth of July week? No absolutely can't do it. We'll be in Riverton, family picnic, reunion, can't miss it." Riverton on the fourth is, a gathering of 200 or so of Melanoma Man's relatives for a picnic, catching up, swimming in the Lumbee. These are the reasons to live, visits from friends, hanging out with family, sharing stories and memories. I remind myself that it's about the living, it's about the people, not the procedures.

Saturday morning when I awoke the word "forgiveness" popped into my head. I know that this is the way out, out of my head.

On the way home from dinner with Joel on Thursday the conversation turned to valet parking. Butter chimed in from the back seat, "They have valet parking at the cancer center." This was it, Melanoma Man's opportunity to break the news to Butter and imac. He told the kids about the brain tumors. imac was silent. Butter wanted to know, "Will they get it all? Will more come back?" When we answer truthfully Butter acts like he can't hear us. He has started kneeling on the kneeler at church when it is time for the prayers of the people instead of reading Calvin & Hobbes. He is praying fervently.

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