You know those "Share if you hate cancer" memes of Facebook? I guess I should have shared more of those. Maybe it would have kept cancer out of our lives. Seriously... LEUKEMIA? Cancer in your bone marrow? The mere thought is overwhelming. It is in his bone marrow. The human body contains 206 bones and every one of those bones is full of bone marrow and my husband has cancer in 206 places... and his blood. Before April 29th, I thought we had already had our fair share of life events. I often said that if losing Briona taught me anything it was to appreciate life, to live for the moment, find joy in the little things, and for the most part I think I practiced what I preached. Our lives were far from perfect, but we were together, we talked, laughed, argued, worried, hugged, kissed, watched our kids growing up before our eyes, took walks, watched tv, and sometimes just ignored one another... but we could do all that because we were in the same house living the same life and figuring it out together. Then April 29th happened and our whole world was turned upside down.
It's kind of weird because when they told us Brian had leukemia, I couldn't wait to get him in the hospital. They told us time was of the essence in treatment and referred us to U of M and it took over two weeks and another bone marrow biopsy to actually get him into the hospital and get treatment started. I wanted them to start treatment so we could start getting rid of the cancer. I'm not saying the chemo isn't working, I don't KNOW if it is working yet. He will have to have his THIRD bone marrow biopsy next Tuesday to see how it is going. I guess I shouldn't have been in such a hurry to get him into the hospital, because I miss him being here.
I am very fortunate to have such an amazing, caring, and compassionate support group comprised of my friends and family. We pulled up carpet, and painted, and cleaned and organized. Meals have shown up daily, people are lifting us in prayer, we've been given donations, and cards, and I have people checking in with me and I am SO THANKFUL but I am still so completely in over my head. I don't know how to do this, and I hate it. I hate a lot of things right now. To keep it simple I'll make a list.
Things I Hate
1. Cancer. Leukemia, Breast, Lung, whatever. I hate cancer. All of it. I. HATE. CANCER.
2. Watching my husband suffer, and try to be brave, for me. I should be the one being brave.
3. Guilt. Over being at the hospital, or not at the hospital, for not being with my kids, or being with my kids when my husband is in the hospital. For not being at work, for other people making meals for my family and being home when they bring them, or not being home when they bring them.
4. Waiting. I've never been all that good at waiting. I hate it even more now. I want test results and I want to know if the chemo worked, and if he will need a bone marrow transplant and if he will ever be able to do the things he loves again.
5. Watching my kids try to deal with the unknown, and wondering what they understand, what they know, and what they worry about.
While I hate that our family is on THIS path right now, I do have faith that things will be ok. I'm not sure when, and I'm not sure how, but I know. I would hate to end this post on such a depressing note, so instead of just ranting and leaving (how rude) I will make another list, I should have, could have made this list awhile ago but sometimes it takes a major life event to make you see how much you have right in front of you.
Things I Love
1. My husband. My knight in dirty Carharts, I love his smile, his laugh, his strength. He is my one true love... even if he is a curmudgeon. He's kind of like the old guy in UP, just not that old yet.
2. Our family. Too many kids, two big dogs,a cat, a guinea pig, and two hermit crabs, in a too small house... but they are ours.
3. The kindness that has been shown to us by so many, some have been so completely unexpected! I love knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that there really are SO MANY good people in the world and I am truly thankful to have managed to incorporated far more than my fair share into our lives.
4. Laughter. I actually chemo pole danced. Brian took a picture and said I should print it out and bring it to him. So I did. Apparently chemo pole dancing is something I invented. The staff finds the picture very amusing. Several of them have come in to check it out. (No worries I kept my clothes on!) See?
5. The nursing staff taking care of Brian. I brought them doughnuts on Thursday. They were way too happy about it. When you are done reading this please go tell a nurse you appreciate them. Do you realize all they do in a day?!? Doughnuts are great, but nobody should be THAT happy about doughnuts! I must have been thanked 37 times and I didn't bring 37 doughnuts. Seriously... thank a nurse. They deserve it.
6. The doctors trying to figure all of this out, I can't imagine dealing with cancer EVERY DAY. I'm falling apart after 12 days. We are truly blessed to have an amazing team working hard for Brian. I'm glad there are people who are smart enough and tough enough to tackle cancer on a daily basis. You have my gratitude and admiration. I couldn't do it. Thank you.
7. Our friends, near or far... those who have come to visit and those who check in daily. Thank you especially to those who are picking up my slack and helping to keep my kids on the right track.
8. Hope. Sometimes you hold on to hope because it's the only thing you have. I have more than just hope. I have faith, hope and LOVE, and so many amazing people in my life to remind me of these things when I start feeling sorry for myself. We are truly blessed.
God is good. All the time.