Staring into the abyss

We are home from our yearly 4th of July trek to Cape May. The vacation was a bit off. My sister’s son was sick and she was on the edge of her sanity, since he’s been sick since January and has had 2 hospitals stays and one big old sinus surgery. Our daughter was also sick, having come down with this bugger of a summer cold that is going around. It would have been impossible for Tim and I not to get it, with sleeping in a hotel room just a few feet from her and being together 24/7 and, sure enough, we both woke up the morning after we got home with the cold. And Liv is STILL coughing from it and this is her 13th day. Tim is swamped with work and going 7 days a week and working late a lot of those. He came home from work that night at 8 pm and felt a fever coming on. He was 100.4 a short while later. Great. His case of pneumonia last Nov. kind of showed me that his rising MM numbers seem to be affecting his immune system more. I hope he can get thru this without it progressing to that. With another appointment looming with his oncologist, one where he might be told he has to start chemo again, now, (he intends to see if he can wait until our daughter is off to college in Sept.), we both feel bummed that we are on the verge of going back to that nightmare. It’s not that MM is ever off our minds, but 8 years without treatment does put you in a different place, mentally. Now, our emotions seem to be making that shift, back to the fear, the worry, the what ifs. Well, me more than him, I’m sure, and he does not share his thoughts with me much, but, in the last 24 hours or so, these are a few things that he did say. Yesterday, (it’s the day before now, as I am up in the wee hours typing this) he told me that if anything ever happened to him due to an illness he caught from Olivia, he wants me to make sure I convince her it wasn’t her fault. Obviously, this is something that has come to my mind before. We have been raising a school aged child through this MM stuff and it’s usually the case that she comes down with things that we end up catching. I told him that this time, it was a bit too obvious who we caught the cold from, but I had already told myself years ago that I would even lie if I had to, say Tim’s employee was sick, or the clients he was working for, anything to try to avoid this kid blaming herself the rest of her life for………….I can’t even say the words. As usual, Tim’s biggest fear about MM is how it’s affecting Olivia. Then, yesterday, which feels like today but is not anymore, we had to go to a wake. This was for a family friend who had a stroke 3 years ago and has not been the same since. Roy was only 68. He and his wife had just moved to Montana in December so she could afford to stop working and he has spent most of his time there in facilities, and then hospice. As we were walking up the stairs to the funeral home, which is just 2 blocks from our house and we seem to be at WAY too much in the last 10 years, Tim asks me if I plan to go to the funeral today. He has to work. I tell him yes and he asks if there is to be a burial afterward and I tell him yes again, in Westwood Cemetery and he says,. “that’s where I want you to bury my ass when I go.” I felt my heart drop somewhere, I don’t know where to. I asked him not to talk about it. We’ve already discussed all this and I know his wishes. I then tried to say in as lighthearted a manner as I could muster, “why don’t you get cremated so you can stay with me?” I then told him, which I do sometimes, “you will be burying me first anyway.” We have talked like this before, but the fact that we were walking into this funeral home as we had this conversation made it more ominous and unbearable than usual. As we spent time at the wake, Tim was asked several times how he was doing by people we have not seen in years. They all know about the cancer. So, he had to explain that we are back to the chemo deal soon. I felt so sorry for him. These people had been friends of Tim’s parents so they were all older than us. (yes, when I spoke on my blog about my outlaws, and what they did to us, I mentioned that they lost all their friends and it’s true. These were some of the people that kicked them to the curb due to their lack of respect and their obnoxious behavior. None of them are surprised that we stay away from his parents. They know them well and stopped inviting them to anything years ago.) Anyway, one of their ex-wives, we found out, is in really bad shape right now from metastasized lung cancer. But, here we are, a generation younger than them, dealing with this cancer sh*t too. My poor husband is no doubt having awful thoughts as we look around that room in the funeral home and it breaks my heart. Tim is one to hide his feelings. Or at least not talk about them, which is so different from me. Maybe I should not be telling him this, but, I have admitted to him lately how worried I am about money especially with college tuition bills starting in a few weeks. I really don’t know if he will be able to keep working while on chemo, and, I don’t want to close his business if there’s a chance he could go back into a stable period off chemo again. He does not want to lose it and we need the income. It sucks having to worry about this. It sucks that he can’t retire and play golf and get out from under the stress of being self-employed and trying to provide for his family while he should be checking things off the old bucket list. I walked to the corner drug store to buy lottery tix, again last night. And when I fantasize about winning, my first thoughts are always about the list of people I’d like to help with the money. But, it’s a pipe dream, and, frankly, one that is painful for me to think about. Because it will never happen and I can’t stand that my husband has to worry like he no doubt does, in private. Cancer sucks. And it’s an endless struggle trying to live in the moment with such scary things looming. Heck, just having an 18 year old brings daily scary things to worry about. Tonight, it’s her driving with friends and a 20 year old sister of one that I never met to go to a concert in Newark and not getting home til late, again. Tim told me I need to start drinking. Once again I say, I think it’s a darn good thing I could never tolerate the stuff. I’d be in trouble if I could. Frankly, when life is this scary and painful, you want nothing more than to numb yourself and try to forget. Being on the frontline of the battlefield is just too much. But, we soldier on……………because what else can you do but keep moving forward. Today’s a new day, and we gotta get through it.