Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Beginnings - Wake Me From This Nightmare

When I finally got home that night, I was shocked that I didn't have the "curl in my husband's arms and cry" breakdown that I expected. I'm always very strong in the heat of the moment but as things start winding down, I usually break. Instead, I got home and asked him if he was hungry and after hugging for several minutes I pushed away and made some lunch. A bit uneventful but necessary for my mind.

After a while we began talking about the future. Whether or not that future included me, I needed to let him know how I felt about certain things. I made sure he knew that my primary task over the next several weeks was to get my affairs in order. I realized that some of the things that had been on my list to "do when I have time" needed to get done now. Just talking about arranging funerals, writing living wills, and teaching him how to run the finances took it's toll on him emotionally but it was all things that I needed to get out at that time. It felt like my mind had gone into overdrive and I had to get all of it done... and now. (Just so you know, I am still working on these things so I did not go crazy but I am working on it and that's more than I was previously)

While those topics were difficult, they were things that really did need to be done regardless of whether or not this tumor was deadly. The next topic I brought up to him was much more difficult. I have always told John that if something were to happen to me, I want him to look for someone that will take care of him and make him happy. All I ask in return is that he don't go against the values I hold so dear and that he bring me a single red rose on my birthday. That he had heard enough times that it didn't affect him but now it was included with two more questions. "Do you still want to have THE operation?" (We had been attempting to conceive child number two for almost two years when we received this news. It had been decided when we started, that in December of 2007 he would have a vasectomy regardless of whether it worked or not. Thus the events leading up to this question.) I reminded him that if something happens to me, his future wife may not have children and wish some of her own. Therefore, did he still want to do this knowing I have something that is definitely wrong with me? (He would later tell me he still wants to because he felt he is done if he couldn't have another with me.) The second question I asked him was along the same lines in a way. "Do you wish to be buried with me or should we just get a single plot?" I'm sure this one floored him more than the other but these are questions I was truly thinking at this time. I'm one that likes to be prepared and these are all questions I felt needed answered.

Eventually, he got me talked/questioned out and I gave up for a while realizing he wasn't as ready for this conversation as I was. Regardless, it was nearly time to pick up our son from the sitters so we needed to both calm enough to do that. I acknowledged that a pointless drive in the country sounded good so we did and talked more as we drove through the cornfields.

We then picked up our son and had to pretend that everything was ok. I didn't want to tell him anything until I had answers myself. I'm glad we waited and he's taken it relatively well. Not sure if it's because he doesn't understand or is truly ok but we'll get into that another time.

Anyway, that night after I put our son to bed, I finally had my first break down about it. I sat on the couch, curled in John's arms, looked up at him and asked him to please wake me from this nightmare now. I would go on to repeat this several times and the tears flowed for a short time as well. I'm not the "full on tears" type so this was unusual and really I can admit it's the only time since the tumor was found that I've had this reaction. I know that other things were said during this time along the lines of, "I need 10 more years" and "Why are you doing this to us now?" and the determined "I will dance on my 60th wedding anniversary" but after around an hour, I decided it was time for bed.

I had a fitful sleep that night for various reasons. I woke a few times just to curl up in John's arms, asked a few more times to be woke up, and thought over every event of the last 24 hours several more times. It was then that a horrible thought hit me. I had agreed for my chiropractor to put me on a prayer chain... What if this fact got back around to my parents? I didn't want them to find out that way. Therefore, I made one of the toughest decisions in the early part of this and decided to tell my parents the next morning. Most of the remainder of the night was working out in my head how to break the news to them.

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