OK, so you’ll remember that I shared with you that my husband is gravely ill? Yes, he has cancer and it has spread into his bones and his prognosis is poor. In fact, he’s on Hospice care now.
So this is the deal. The Hospice doctor put him on some incredible Superman medicine which has boosted his appetite and energy levels to a level beyond where he was back in the day! And now, Hospice gave him permission to go on an outing. The Hospice nurse said, “You’re not in prison, you know. If you want to go out, you can go out for an hour or two.”
At the sound of burning rubber on the driveway, I thought to myself, “Perhaps I should have gone with him.” But, too late. And he left his cell phone on the kitchen counter. Where did he go? Well, by the rumors that beat him back home to the “Compound” as we like to refer to our over-55 golf course community, he went directly to Thunder Valley Casino, about two miles thataway.
Does someone want to explain to me how you’re supposed to dig your poor old mind up out of the “He’s going to die at any moment” gutter, to “I wonder if he’ll come home for dinner!” It is a strange situation I find myself in. And I wanted to share this with you, because it has triggered some very powerful emotions which make me think I’m not sound of mind.
Anger. Yes, that’s one of the feelings. I just went through two months of 24/7 care-giving. He doesn’t really know what I did during that period as he slept most of it away. How dare he just get up, and go play while I sit here sorting his medicine bottles and re-stacking his bandages?
Confusion. Yes, frustrated and confused. The Hospice nurse explained that when someone is under Hospice care, that means that technically, they have about six months to go. For the last two months, I’ve been planning and discussing incredibly difficult subjects with my husband, and with our children. Whispering to my family and friends on the phone, and answering their heartfelt questions as best I can.
Embarrassed. We have two churches praying for my husband. (Perhaps the easy answer here is, the prayers are working!) How do you tell someone who is diligently praying for your husband’s healing and peace that he is somewhere in a smoke-filled casino with his poker face on?
Joy and Thanksgiving. I remember sitting in the silence of “nap time” last week, and thinking, “Oh my God, this is how quiet it’s going to be. This is going to be very lonely.” And now, here we are, discussing what we’ll have for dinner.
OK. So you get the idea. I know now that all of these feelings have got to be “normal” and I can’t pretend that they’re not there. I know that I must just “embrace the plateau” as pastor suggested, and hope that family and friends will do the same. This is a strange time I’m living in, and my husband is living through. Next week is his birthday. He’s going to see his 74th. That is a blessing and I’m thankful for that.
Thanks for listening.
And thanks for the walk! Isn’t it a spectacular day?