Slice 126 of 365
I caught one of my favorite Frasier episodes this morning. Niles spends the week beating the odds of various events and then it turns out he needs open heart surgery. My favorite scene, I guess favorite may not be the right word, the most stirring scene for me is when Daphne breaks down in the waiting room.
It reminded me of every time Lisa was in the hospital or went for surgery or chemo. I died all over again every time but there was work to do a house to take care of and kids to tend to. I did my falling apart in private after the kids were in bed. It had to be that way for a lot of reasons but mostly because it was the only way I would ever recover on a daily basis. That still holds true today.
Sure there were plenty of people to talk to but almost nobody from my perspective. Nobody sat where I was sitting or had my unique view, which is actually a good thing.
I held things in, which I thought was the better choice and still believe that, so that Lisa and the kids could just be as normal as possible under the circumstances.
She had her lumpectomy and the doctor told me they would have the mass biopsied but he’d seen it before and he was pretty sure the results would be positive. She asked me what he said and I said we’d have to wait for the biopsy. Now I know she worried all week but she had hope in there too which could be held onto for another week and it didn’t need to be dashed earlier than necessary.
The hardest thing I ever kept secret was near the end. I went to see the doctor myself after making a huge faux pas in a regular appointment with Lisa sitting right there, asking if she was considered terminal. I was not thinking. I went back and had the conversation alone with the doctor and he said he thought she would have a very tough fall and not make it through the winter, this was the end of October.
I had an idea of what he was going to say but hearing it out loud was crushing. I went downstairs to the chemo lab and wrangled our favorite nurse and fell apart. It was the only time in front of somebody else.
I had to go back to work and on the way my fan belt went, talk about timing.
We were supposed to go to Disney in the spring. I went right to the company travel agent and had her change it to as soon as possible no matter what it cost. Lisa asked why I changed it, I gave her some lame excuse but I’m sure she knew. We went five weeks later and ended up cutting the trip short to come home where she went back in the hospital for a week.
She came home for two days and then died.
Now I’m not looking for sympathy or anything else, it’s just a story brought on by an episode of a sit com, an article I read this week and I realized her birthday is Monday, she would have been 52.
A lot of people have said to me I don’t know how you did it and I reply, it’s amazing what you can do when you have no choice.